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California Fig Fruitcake



Combine figs, raisins, dates, pears & pineapple in a large bowl with the sherry.
Marinate overnight at room temp covered with plastic wrap.
The next day, simmer apricots in nectar 10 minutes & then cool.
Drain marinated fruits (save sherry!) & add apricots after draining (add nectar to drained sherry).
Grease & line bottom of 5 baby loaf pans (5 5/8 x 3 1/4 x 1 7/8 inch) with brown paper (grease again after laying paper in pans).
I have used a 12 cup bundt pan with good results - increasing cooking time by 30 minutes & then checking with toothpick.
Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder & cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add Lemon extract or zest & vanilla & mix.
Add flour, baking powder & cinnamon to wet ingredients & mix lightly to make batter.
Using remaining 1/4 cups of flour to dredge fruits & nuts in a separate bowl.
Add fruit & nuts to batter & blend well.
Pour into prepared pans & place in COLD oven on middle rack.
Put a pan of cold water in bottom of oven & turn oven on to 250 degrees F.
Bake 2 hours until golden & tester comes out clean.
Cool cakes on wire rack.
Remove brown paper while still warm.
Wrap each fruitcake in cheesecloth moistened with sherry/nectar & then in heavy weight aluminum foil.
Refrigerate 2 to 4 weeks, moistening with sherry when cheesecloth seems to be getting dry.
For gift-giving, overwrap with red cellophane & top with a bow.