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  #1  
Old 08-15-2015, 01:05 PM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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Default 20 Year Cake

Calamity Jane's Receipt for 20 Year Cake (adapted from Calamity Jane's Letters to her Daughter)

Mix together 25 eggs beaten separate, 2 1/2 pounds each of sugar, flour and butter, 7 1/2 pounds seeded raisins, 1 1/2 pounds citron cut very fine, 5 pounds currants, 1/4 ounce cloves, 1/2 ounces cinnamon, 2 ounces mace, 2 ounces nutmeat, 2 teaspoons yeast powder or 2 teaspoons soda & 3 cream tartar. Bake.

This will make 3 cakes 8 pound each. Pour a pint of brandy over the cakes while still warm. Seal in tight crock. This cake is unexcelled & will keep good to the last crum 20 years.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2015, 05:38 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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I've heard of some heavy fruit cakes, but that one has to be the heaviest! Interesting that it offers a choice between baking soda and yeast powder.

Let us know how it works out
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:52 PM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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Lol, I'm not going to tackle that monster! 7 1/2 pounds of raisins, 5 pounds of currants and 2 dozen eggs are too expensive to waste. I'd want to know for sure that it would be edible. How much does a pint of quality brandy cost these days? What size crock and mixing bowl would be needed? Big ones, for sure.

I guess the loaves were baked over coals. A very special cake for extra special occasions.

This would be a great project for a homeschool group.

Last edited by SKB; 08-16-2015 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:15 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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WOW.... Interesting for sure...

Could a person do the math to reduce this recipe to a much smaller version ??
Lets say reduce it to 5 eggs and appropriate amounts of the other ingredients, and have it come out successfully ??
Is it really that simple to manipulate the amounts ??

Regardless of the size, if anyone does attempt this, PLEASE post results..
Good luck...
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:06 PM
SKB Female SKB is offline
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There's nothing in the recipe that is different than in current recipes, so that's what I would do. Search for a fruitcake recipe that includes soaking in brandy, then do a test and see how long it lasts in storage. I'll look for some recipes. I love fruitcake.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:16 PM
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Here's one recipe. It makes 5 loaves. Do not give this cake to children or pets.

Homemade Drunken Fruitcake Recipe

7 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves, ground
1 tsp. nutmeg, ground
2 cups pecans, chopped
2 cups apricots, chopped
1 cup prunes chopped
1 cup candied pineapple
2 cups dried cranberries or craisins
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cups applesauce
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup dark rum
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup dark rum
Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, set aside.
Chop pecans in a food processor, set aside.
Chop apricots, prunes, pineapple and cranberries in a food processor.
Mix all fruits and nuts together and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, beating each time.
Beat in applesauce and 1/4 cup each of brandy and rum.
Mix all ingredients together except the last 1/3 cup each of brandy and rum.
Pour into 5 greased 9"x5" disposable loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and rotate pans.
Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
Remove from pans and let cool completely. Wash pans and dry.
Mix the remaining brandy and rum together in measuring cup with spout.
Return fruitcake to pans and pour an equal amount of alcohol over each fruitcake.
Wrap and set aside until someone is ready to eat it!
Makes 5 large loaves.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:27 PM
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Here it is!! Info on storing fruitcake long term. Years!!

The Care And Feeding Of A Fruitcake

A fruitcake needs care and feeding for a period of time as it ripens and matures. When you go to the expense and effort to make a really good homemade fruitcake, they often forget that fruitcake is supposed to be aged and cured just like a fine wine. Fruitcakes DO taste better with age! Aging is sometimes called 'ripening', and allows the ingredients in the fruitcake to mellow and blend as the tannins in the dried fruits are released. As the fruitcake matures, the skins of the dried fruits, which contain the same tannins that age fine red wines, create similar, complex flavors and aromas. The key then, is to use lots of high quality dried and well marinated fruits for proper aging. The density and high sugar content of homemade fruitcakes prevents bacterial growth and spoilage. Another handy thing about aging is that it allows a busy cook to prepare fruitcakes well in advance of the busy Holiday Season.

Feeding or curing is the process of the adding alcohol to the fruitcake to preserve it for long-term storage and give it that unique flavor associated with the best fruitcakes. Besides adding moistness, and flavor, the alcohol also minimizes the sweetness of the ingredients and makes the fruitcake incredibly rich. So how long will a fruitcake keep? When asked that question, the cooks' accepted response is always, "íTill it's all eaten." From its earliest history, fruitcakes were made to have a virtually unlimited shelf life, remaining moist and flavorful for years. By custom, fruitcakes might be kept a year in advance of the grand reveal at the holiday table.

After the fruitcake has cooled completely is ready to prepare for storage. Fruitcakes intended for short-term storage are handled differently then the ones that are going to keep for several months or longer. To prepare a fruitcake for short-term storage you'll need a square of cheesecloth large enough to wrap around the fruitcake and a bottle of good quality brandy, rum, cognac, bourbon or whiskey. Pour enough liquor into a small bowl to soak the cheesecloth until it is completely saturated. To prepare the fruitcake for longer storage, you'll need a piece of unbleached muslin to wrap around the cake. Muslin is better for long-term storage because it retains more moisture than cheesecloth. Soak the muslin in liquor until it is wet through. The purpose of this liqueur soaked cloth is to protect the surface of the fruitcake and keep it moist as the alcohol is slowly absorbed into the cake.

While the cloth covering for the fruitcake is soaking, slowly pour a jigger of the same liquor over the top of the fruitcake, adding it drop by drop without causing any wet spots. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and place the soaked cheesecloth on top. Center in the fruitcake in the middle of the cloth. Wrap the well saturated fabric around the cake, tucking the ends and to the hollow center. Wrap the plastic wrap around the wrapped fruitcake sealing it completely and then cover tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Put the packaged fruitcake in a sealable freezer bag or an airtight plastic container store it in a cool dark place, but not the refrigerator.

For best results, a good fruitcake needs to be ripened for at least four to six weeks prior to serving. During this stage, liquor is regularly brushed over the surface of the cake. Do not apply more alcohol than the fruitcake can absorb, if it begins to pool around the bottom of the fruitcake invert the cake and wait until the excess soaks in before applying any more. If the cloth wrapping becomes dry, soak it in liquor before rewrapping the cake. The fruitcake will continue to ripen and improve for several months. The ingredients as well as the temperature and humidity will affect the condition of the fruitcake. The fruitcake should remain moist at all times, take care that it does not dry out during the curing process.

A well wrapped and liquor cured fruitcake that is kept in tightly closed containers will keep for months or even years. For VERY long storage, 'bury' the liquor-soaked fruitcake in confectioners' sugar in a tightly covered tin, and store it in a cool dark place.

Generally, I use the following rule of thumb for applying liquor:

1.For short-term storage, use a basting brush to brush more liquor on the surface of the fruitcake every 2-3 days. Rewrap the cake and repeat the process for four to six weeks to ripen the fruitcake. After that time, the cake can be frozen until serving time.

2.For longer storage of fruitcakes that are made two or more months in advance, add one jigger of liquor to the fruitcake once a week for the first month, and then brush liquor once a month thereafter, alternating between the top and bottom of the fruitcake for every application. Repeat this process until the fruitcake is served.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2015, 01:23 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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OK..... Now this is going to sound like one of those "what the hell you thinking" questions... But it is kinda important to me...

Can a person take one of these recipes, or is there a recipe that you can use brandy/rum flavoring/extract rather than the liquor ?? You would get the taste, but not the long term preservation...

Or should I just make a spice cake mix and jam it full of dried fruit ??

Suggestions ?? Thanks...
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2015, 01:32 PM
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You can use fruit juice. Apple juice would be a good choice, especially if you want to share the cake with children or those who need to avoid alcohol.

I would still consider making and storing an alcohol preserved cake for bartering. Who could resist that?! 😁
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