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Holiday Fruitcake

Time 4 hours
Yields Makes 24 slices
Holiday Fruitcake
1

Thoroughly grease 2 (8-by-5-inch) loaf pans. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

2

Combine the apricots, dates, raisins, candied cherries and pineapple, almonds and pecans in a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup of the flour to dredge the mixture. Set aside.

3

Cream the butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

4

Sift the remaining flour with the cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the rum, brandy, the 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and the orange and lemon juices and zests. Fold into the fruit-nut mixture. Pour the batter into the loaf pans and smooth the tops.

5

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

6

Cool the cakes in the pans 15 minutes, then remove them onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

7

Moisten 2 pieces of cheesecloth, large enough to cover each loaf, with Grand Marnier and wrap them around each loaf. Wrap the loaves in foil and refrigerate or store in a cool place. If the loaves start to dry out, sprinkle a little more Grand Marnier over them.

Once wrapped for storage, the fruitcake tastes better the longer it sits.

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