This version of fruitcake—inspired by Italy's pandolce d'oro (literally sweet cake of gold)—is lighter in texture and color, and best eaten sooner rather than later.
Yield: makes 2 Cakes
- 1 1⁄2 cups sliced almonds
- 3⁄4 cup candied lemon peel, minced
- 3⁄4 cup candied orange peel, minced
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dried apricots, minced
- 1 cup dried peaches, minced
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
- 1 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground mace
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup dried white bread crumbs
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Combine almonds, lemon peel, orange peel, raisins, apricots, peaches, apple, and orange liqueur in a large bowl and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Generously grease 2 fluted, 4-cup tube pans. Sift flour, baking soda, mace, ginger, cloves, and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in bread crumbs and set aside.
- Beat butter with an electric mixer, gradually adding sugar and beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Gently fold in fruit and marinade, then spoon into pans.
- Cover batter with lids or greased aluminum foil and place in a deep roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come one-third up sides of pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Unmold cakes while warm; cool before serving. (Store, wrapped in plastic wrap, in refrigerator for up to 1 week.)