Dried Fruit and Nut Cake

  • Serves: Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 300
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This one is fruit packed cake with a complex caramel flavor. As a result, the cake is moist and a good keeper. Add candied citrus peel to the cake batter before baking, if you like. The recipe is baked at 300 degrees F to ensure that the fruit inside does not burn.
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INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed, or firmly packed, grated piloncillo
SARAH SAYS: Piloncillo is Mexican dark brown sugar. These sugar cones have a very high molasses content.
1 cup dried apricots, plums, pluots, pears or peaches, or a mixture (to measure, leave apricots and similar-size fruit whole, cut larger fruit in halves or thirds
2 cups moist quartered dates
3 cups walnut halves
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven and heat to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the brown sugar, all the dried fruit, the dates and nuts, and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla until lightened in color. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon until the fruit and nuts are coated with batter. Scrape into the prepared pan.

4. Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the batter clinging to the fruit seems set, about 1 hour. Tent loosely with foil if the cake is browning too much. Cool completely in the pan before unmolding.

STORAGE
The cake keeps, wrapped airtight in foil or plastic wrap, for several weeks at room temperature or at least 3 months in the refrigerator.
Freeze, well wrapped, for a month or more.

Recipe adapted from Alice Medrich

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