Fruit Cake, Dark

Jen’s Note: I like to make my cake in late September to give it lots of time for the flavours to develop.

2 cups seedless raisins, washed and drained**(Sultanas, Thompson or Golden)
2 cups Lexia raisins, separated** (Optional, may replace with more seedless raisins, if preferred)
1 cup glazed, chopped, mixed peels and citron**
2 cups glazed cherries, red and green**
1 cup glazed pineapple (optional)**
1 cup slivered almonds**
3/4 cup grape juice or brandy or spiced rum
3 cups once-sifted all purpose flour**
1 tsp. baking powder**
3/4 tsp. salt**
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg**
1/2 tsp. ground ginger**
1/8 tsp. ground cloves**
2 tsp. cinnamon**
3/4 cup butter**
1 1/2 cups white sugar**
4 eggs**
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses**
1 tsp. vanilla**
Prepare first 7 ingredients and place in a bowl. Pour grape juice or brandy over prepared fruits and nuts and combine well. Let stand overnight.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves together 3 times. Cream the butter, gradually blend in sugar and cream well. Add unbeaten eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the molasses and vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and combine well, add fruit and its liquid and combine well. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into 8″ square foil lined cake pan and spread evenly. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 2 3/4 hours. Let stand in pan on cake rack until cold. Store in a closely covered crock or lined cake tin to ripen and, if desired, brush cake at intervals with a little brandy.

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