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How to Soak Dry Fruits For Christmas Cake

Soaking fruits for a Christmas cake is very simple. All you need is a few dry fruits, some alcohol and some spices and you can macerate them for anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months or even 1 year before baking your wonderful Christmas cake!

Ingredients

Assorted Dry Fruit

  • 200 grams seedless black raisins
  • 50 grams pitted prunes
  • 50 grams dried cranberries/craisins
  • 100 grams golden raisins
  • 100 grams jumbo/green raisins
  • 100 grams dried cherries
  • 50 grams candied orange (or any other citrus fruit peel)
  • 100 grams dried apricots
  • 50 grams dried papaya
  • 100 grams dried kiwi or dried mango
  • 100 grams dried pineapple
  • 50 grams candied ginger

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup rum or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice

Instructions

  • Clean dry fruits as required - if there are any stems on raisins, remove them. If you are using prunes with the stone (seed), remove them and then weigh. Chop all big fruits into small pieces.
  • Add all the chopped fruit into a large bowl and pour in the orange juice and rum. Sprinkle the mixed spice. Thoroughly mix everything together.
  • Transfer this mixture into a a clean, dry, sterile glass or ceramic jar. Do not use any other metal container as it may react to the alcohol. Cover and keep in a cool dark place of your kitchen.
  • Stir the fruit once a week so that all of it is evenly coated with the alcohol and it is macerated well.
  • Use as required in any recipe. This recipe makes 2 cakes of 8 or 9 inch round * see note below

Dry Fruits

    Notes

    Note:
    1. Some recipes may use 1kg dried fruit for a 9" pan. These cakes will be dense and tall, for example, the Irish Christmas Cake on my website. Depending on the recipe, you may add additional ingredients to this basic fruit mix recipe. Some recipes call for powdered cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in addition to the mixed spice. Some call for the addition of jam while marinating the fruits, so you can add these as required
    2. Some people add dates & figs too. I prefer not to add these because dates lend a lot of natural sweetness and figs have tiny seeds that I don't like in my cakes. But please feel free to use these two in your fruit mix by substituting them for other fruits
    3. I do not like to soak nuts along with the fruit as I feel that they lose their crunch. I always add chopped nuts to the batter before I bake