Oh yes, really it is!
Now’s the time to prep your dried fruit and set it soaking. In six weeks time it will be perfect to bake your cake with.
Of course if you’ve baked your Christmas cake with me before there’s the trusty original ‘Boozy Fruit’ soak. This year I’ve come up with another two more versions for you to choose from, one uses different fruits for a different slightly tangier taste the ‘Jewelled Boozy Fruit’ version
and ‘More Fruit Boozy Fruit’ which is exactly the same taste as the original version but packed with 1/3rd more fruit.
Original Boozy Fruit
175g dried figs, chopped
100g dates, chopped
55g mixed peel
Jewelled Boozy Fruit
270g dried cranberries
130g glace cherries, halved
100g dried cherries
30g mixed peel
More Fruit Boozy Fruit
100g dried figs
60g mixed peel
1 cinnamon stick
Zest and juice from 1 orange
55g caster sugar
Whichever you go for the method is exactly the same, here’s how:
Place the fruit into a large bowl, chop any figs/dates/apricots into smaller pieces before adding them to the bowl.
Add the grated zest of your orange plus a cinnamon stick.
Measure the orange juice – we need 55ml. If you have more drain it off to the correct amount, if it’s short then top it up with water.
Place the juice and the caster sugar into a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves – don’t let it boil.
Once the sugar has dissolved take it off the heat.
Measure the brandy into a jug and pour in the juice/sugar mixture.
Stir to combine and then pour the whole lot over the fruit.
Give it a good mix up and then transfer the boozy fruit to an airtight container (a 1.5litre one is just right)
For a week you will need to stir it every day, then for a further five weeks give it a mix up just once a week. Believe me it’s worth it just for the smell of Christmas you get every time you open the lid!
Six weeks soaking and you will have the most fab fruit to make your Christmas cake with
Boozy Fruit Tips:
- Store ideally in a kitchen cupboard or on the worktop as long as it’s not in direct sunlight. It doesn’t need to be in the fridge, just somewhere at room temperature.
- If you’re not keen on Brandy try it with your preferred alternative e.g rum
- If you’re running late – a weeks fruit soaking is better than none and you will still come out with a lovely cake, the longer the soak the better the flavour.
- If you prefer to make a cake that’s alcohol free make a syrup by heating 200g caster sugar with 200ml water, once dissolved pour over the fruit and then soak and stir as above.
and I’ll be posting the cake recipe up soon – now get mixing!
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire