This is another Alton Brown recipe that I’ve tweaked a bit to be Gluten-Free. I like it because it has none of those candied thingies. My daughter prefers the Gran Marnier instead of the Brandy…but of course you could use any distilled alcohol that you prefer and it will be Gluten-Free. Trust me…this is one great cake!! I’ve managed to convert some of the most difficult Fruit Cake Haters with this recipe.
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups G F all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
Grand Marnier for basting
Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add Grand Marnier and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.
Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again. This is the tricky part…because this cake is so dense it’s easy to pull it too soon. I’ve actually had raw cake when I thought it was done. Now I opt to leave it in a little longer. I figure the spritzing done over the next two weeks will compensate for being a little too dry coming out of the oven.
Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with Grand Marnier and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with Grand Marnier. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks.