3 7 1/4 ounce packages of pitted dates
1 pound candied pineapple, red and green, and yellow
1 pound whole candied cherries, red and green
2 cups sifted all purpose flour *
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 pounds pecan halves (Taste them; they must be fresh)
*Mom says you can get by with "fluffing" the flour with a fork.
This makes roughly four loaves, depending on the sizes of the pans.
- Prepare the pans by oiling them and lining them with brown paper cut to fit. Then oil the paper.
- Preheat the oven to 275 F.
- Chop the dates into three pieces or so. (It’s about 3 1/2 cups cut)
- Chop the candied pineapple into about 1/3 of inch wide wedges (about 2 1/2 cups)
- Put the chopped fruit in a large mixing bowl. Add the candied cherries, whole (about 2 cups).
- Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup.
- Add the salt and baking powder to the flour.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the fruit.
- Mix fruit and dry ingredients until all the fruit is well coated.
- Using mixer, beat four eggs until frothy.
- Gradually add one cup sugar to eggs, beat until well blended.
- Add eggs and sugar to fruit mixture, mixing well.
- Add two pounds (eight cups) of pecan halves.
- Mix until nuts are evenly distributed and well coated with batter.
- Pack into pans, pressing down with the back of a spoon. If necessary, rearrange pieces of fruit and nuts to fill up empty spaces. This should be a dense cake, without holes.
- Bake one and a half hours at 275 F. When done, tops of cakes should look dry. If there is any doubt, leave cakes in oven longer, as a little extra baking does no harm. Watch for the edges of the cake to pull away from the pan; that’s a sign of doneness.
- When cakes are done, remove from oven and place on cake racks.
- Let stand about five minutes.
- Turn out on racks, and carefully remove paper.
- Cool cakes, and turn top side up.
Traditionally you would douse the cake with sherry, or bourbon, or brandy, and wrap the cake in several layers of cheescloth and put it in a container for at least two or three weeks. It isn't requires. You may use the same method to freshen a dry or over cooked cake.
Wrap cakes in plastic food wrap and then foil to freeze them; they freeze well. Thaw at room temperature.
After making the cake the first time, you may find you prefer more nuts or fruit, in which case you may need to add extra batter, using the instructions above. You can use half the eggs, sugar, etc. to make more batter if you don’t need quite so much.
From LRS; originally from Woman’s Day December, 1954.