Of course I should not be eating fruit cake. But if I’m going to be eating fruit cake, this one is a pretty good choice. This is a spice cake as much as a fruit cake. We ate our first piece with a little glass of sherry (yeah, not rum) and were suddenly full of Christmas spirit(s). I had just the right amount of candied peel and ginger left in the freezer from last year to use them up; otherwise there is no sugar added to the cake. As sugar, that is; it gets a reasonable degree of sweetness from the dried fruits and the rum. (Next time I aim to replace them with other unsweetened dried fruits.) Boiling the fruit extracts some of those natural fruit sugars to sweeten the cake part and make the fruit very moist. I further kept the carbs down by replacing half the flour with almond flour and the rest of the flour with whole spelt flour.
Unlike traditional fruit cakes, a boiled fruit cake does not need to be made so far in advance. I would make it at least 4 or 5 days before I wanted to eat it, up to a week ahead. A little aging does help everything settle in together nicely. This one sat for a week before we cut our first slices, and in the meantime I drizzled a little more rum over it. Like traditional fruit cake, it soaked it up perfectly. It doesn’t keep as long as typical fruit cake; I would say in a well-sealed tin in a cool place and doused with a good hit of extra rum, that 3 weeks is reasonable.
12 servings1 hour 15 minutes – 15 minutes prep – to boil fruit 1 hour 20 minutes – to mix and bake the cake
Boil the Fruit:1/2 cup dark raisins1/2 cup light raisins1/2 cup candied peel OR other dried fruit
1/2 cup dried apricots1/2 cup pitted prunes1/4 cup candied ginger1 cup apple cider OR water1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup rumPut everything but the rum into a sufficiently large, heavy-bottomed pot and slowly, over medium-low heat, bring it all to the boil. Stir regularly. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let cool for 1 hour.
Prepare an 8″ spring form cake pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper, then buttering the bottom and sides and coating them in flour. Fifteen minutes before the hour is up, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Make the Cake:4 oz whole spelt flour4 oz almond flour1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg1/4 teaspoon ground allspice1/8 teaspoon ground cloves1/2 teaspoon salt2 teaspoons baking powder2 large eggs1/4 cup rum
Mix the spelt and almond flours with all the spices, the salt, and the baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cooled boiled fruit mixture. Break in the eggs and mix them in well.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour up to 10 minutes more, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Drizzle the rum evenly over the cake. Keel the cooled cake well wrapped in a cake tin until wanted; you could also pour a little more rum over it if it sits for a while.
Last year at this time I made Savory Leek & Dried Tomato Cheesecake in a Rye Crust.