Since my Mom died, I haven’t felt as much urgency to make fruitcake for the holidays. I made sure to share whatever I baked with her each year. So it’s somewhat of an annual tradition. I saw this Claire Saffitz recipe on YouTube and was intrigued by the idea of mixing in almond paste into the batter so spent some time getting all the ingredients.
I actually tried to find a good quality almond paste, one that is upwards of 50% almonds (rather than marzipan, which can be as low as 25%). However, I struck out at my usual stores, and just settled for the sugary stuff.
While, technically, you can start this cake and eat it within a 24-hour period, from a practical perspective, you’d probably do it over two or even three days. On the first day, I soaked the dried fruit (exactly as called for in the recipe: cherries, apricots, prunes, cranberries, currants) in a mix of fresh orange juice and bourbon.
The next day, I made the cake, substituting some of the marzipan with ground almonds. When the Bundt pan came out of the oven, I used more bourbon to soak the warm cake. Finally, I brushed it, as directed, with strained apricot jam. Since I was in no hurry, I made the icing a few days later.
The jam glaze and icing aren’t something that I would normally embellish a fruitcake with. I do admit that it makes it look quite beautiful though.
And the taste: this is a very good fruitcake, a nice balance of ingredients and flavours. I expected a stronger almond flavour but couldn’t really detect it. I’ve left nice cake dome out for almost a week, enjoying a slice each day but will have to freeze the extras soon.