I love reaching into my recipe box at Christmas time. I know whichever recipe I pull out will have years of history and tender memories attached to it. Such is the case with this beautiful fruit and nut cake. The recipe was shared with me by my dear former mother-in-law Janet. The cake is loaded with nuts, cherries, and raisins, and the apricot brandy gives it such a lovely flavor. Janet and I loved baking together on her visits. The Christmas season we made these cakes was an especially happy one for me. Our family lived in Washington State and we didn’t get visits from our family very often. It really lifted my spirit that they were with us for such a special time of year. There would be a few visits from Janet and my father-in-law Bill while lived there. These visits were cherished and all the more at Christmas time. The children were always so happy to see Mom mom and Pop pop. I remember shopping for all the ingredients at our local Costco. We made so many of these cakes that year that we needed to buy in bulk! I enjoyed chopping the nuts and halving the cherries. My fingertips were a lovely shade of red for a day or two! I loved the raisins and I would sneak a few as we were preparing the ingredients. We decided to make the cakes in little loaf pans to stretch the giving to my friends and church family. Mom would take some home with her to enjoy with family and friends who stopped in for a visit. We did lots of baking that year. After the little cakes, we baked all our favorite cookies. Butter spritz, pecan Sandy’s, jam thumb prints, and sugar cookie cut outs. My children couldn’t wait to eat them! I love the smell of the cake baking in my oven today. I couldn’t be more grateful for those precious memories of that special Christmas visit.
Brandy Nut Cake
3 Cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 ½ Cups maraschino cherries-halved
1 ½ Cups raisins
¾ Cups all-purpose flour
¾ Cups granulated sugar
½ Teaspoon baking powder
½ Teaspoon salt
3 Extra-large eggs
2 Tablespoons apricot brandy
½ Cup apricot brandy for wrapping
Combine nuts and fruit; sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder, salt. Add to the nuts and fruit tossing to coat well. Beat the eggs till frothy; then add the 2 tablespoons of brandy. Pour the egg mixture over the fruit and nut mixture. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 300 degrees 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. When cake is completely cool remove from the pan. Moisten several layers of cheese cloth with the ½ cup of brandy. Wrap the cake in the cheese cloth then wrap in aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator. I have no way of knowing the creator of the recipe. Janet never mentioned where she had gotten it. But I sure think it’s worth sharing. Enjoy!