A couple of months ago, I posted my recipe for fruitcake and encourage my readers to join me in baking them this year. Yesterday was that day for me! I usually try and bake them the first week of December, as I like to keep a couple for Jim and myself, and gift the rest.
For the last several years, I’ve been baking Stöllen instead of fruitcake, and realized yesterday that I hadn’t baked fruitcake since replacing our oven. I bake my cakes in eight mini loaf pans, (Amazon affiliate link) and in my old oven they took about 45 minutes to bake. It was the full 60 minutes in my new oven, much to my surprise.
I prefer to use freshly squeezed orange juice, and I use Clementines this time of the year… I think they’re easier on my hands to juice than regular oranges.
If I remember (and I no longer know how I’d function in my kitchen without Alexa to keep me on track!) I start draining the fruit that has been soaking in brandy in the morning.
Make sure to set it over a bowl to catch the fruit and brandy mixture, you’ll use this to coat the cakes after they bake.
Once the cakes are baked, let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping them out onto a cooling rack, set over a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Brush the tops with the reserved brandy from draining the fruit, and when they are cool, turn them over and brush the bottoms, turning them right side up immediately afterwards.
Fruitcakes are then typically wrapped in cheesecloth and saturated with brandy weekly. I prefer to saturate mine over the next 24 hours, and then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze if I’m going to store them. I do like to place a single layer of cheesecloth over the cakes to protect them until that point.
I will brush the cakes over the cheese cloth every few hours (or whenever I think about it) for a day, then freeze them. Make sure to do a final brushing with brandy before removing the cheesecloth, or it will stick.
These make lovely gifts!