Jim’s-Best Fruitcake

Recipe is based on Alton Brown’s Free-Range Fruitcake incorporating my changes.


1 10″ loaf pan 4 8.5″ loaf pans
(4 cups dried fruit) (12 cups dried fruit)
1/2 c 1 1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c 1 1/2 c dark raisins or currants
1 c 3 c dried pineapple
1/2 c 1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c 1 1/2 c dried blueberries
1/2 c 1 1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c 1 1/2 c dried apricots
1 3 lemon, zest of, coarsely chopped
1 3 orange, zest of, coarsely chopped
1/4 c 3/4 c candied ginger
1 c 3 c gold rum
1 c 3 c sugar
5 oz (1 1/4 sticks) 15 oz unsalted butter
1 c 3 c pineapple juice
4 12 cloves, ground
6 18 allspice berries, ground
1 t 3 t cinnamon
1 t 3 t ground ginger
1 3/4 c 4 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t 1 T salt
1 t 3 t baking soda
1 t 3 t baking powder
2 6 eggs, beaten
1/2 – 3/4 cup 1 1/2 – 2 1/4 cups toasted pecans


Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place fruit, rum and juice in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)

Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Start checking for doneness at 40 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.

Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet.

When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. The cake’s flavor will enhance considerably as it sits.

Submitted by Jim Wilson
Son of James & Lola Wilson

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