It may seem crazy early to be talking about Christmas already, but it is seriously starting to creep up on us and it’s not evan officially fall yet. But one thing I do like to get an early jump on is the prepping fruit for my Christmas cake. Last year I didn’t do a traditional Christmas cake, instead I went for a gluten free clementine cake instead. But this year with a little bit of planning I have decided to go for a traditional Christmas cake instead and that means boozing up the fruit nice and early for a tipple worthy Christmas cake.
Time To Soak
Having the fruit soak this long means my fruit will be lovely and plump and really matured in the alcohol. There is no hard and fast rule about soaking your fruit for this long, but with my job I have to pre plan a lot of things and this is one of them.
So lets talk fruit 😀
I have used a combination of sultana’a, raisins, currants, cherries and mixed peel.
I love these bags you can buy of chopped mixed nuts, they add a lovely nutty flavour and a great texture to the final cake. Unfortunately if you have a nut allergy suffer in the family you’ll need to leave these out or make 2 cakes one with and one without nuts 😀
To me this is a really old fashioned ingredient, it’s something my Nan would put in her fruit cakes. My Mum is also a big advocate of it as well, until recently I was never a fan. It was syrupy and overly sweet. But in recent years the shops have improved on this a great deal, here is a combination of grapefruit, orange and lemon peel Italian style, which basically means it’s a lot fresher and only lightly candied.
Again this is a thing I have only recently come to appreciate as they have greatly improved. I remember as a kid they were bright red and tasted nothing of cherries. These are French and they have a far more natural flavour, this may not look like a lot but once they are cut up I find this is plenty.
As you can imagine it really is a case of chuck everything together in a bowl douse with brandy mix up allow to soak in the bowl for an hour then fill up a serialised jar, seal and then once a week turn the jar either upside down or back up the right way again. This gives the brandy a chance to work it’s way through all the fruit.
- 225 grams sultana's, (1 and ½ cups)
- 225 grams Raisins , (1 and ½ cups)
- 225 grams currants, (1 and ½ cups)
- 60 grams Glace Cherries, (11 to 12 cherries)
- 60 grams Mixed citrus peel, (1/3 cup lightly packed)
- 60 grams mixed chopped nuts, (1/2 cup)
- 240 millilitres brandy, (1 cup)
- Weigh out all your ingredients except the cherries and place them all in a large mixing bowl. With your cherries chop them up into little pieces and add them to the bowl of fruit.
- Give everything a good stir to mix it up. Pour over the brandy and stir. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and after 30 minutes give it another stir and recover for another 30 minutes.
- Clean and serialise enough jars to hold your fruit. I needed to use 2 medium sized jars.
- If using 2 jars equally divide the fruit between the jars including the brandy from the bottom of the bowl. If only using 1 large jar pour everything in and seal. Store in a dark cool place.
- Remember once a week to go back and turn the jar upside down / back up the right way to allow the brandy to soak all the fruit. Keep doing this until you are ready to make your Christmas cake!