1 – 1.5 kg dried fruit
450g can pineapple, crushed
3 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1 t mixed spice
1 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla, almond, lemon essence
6 eggs, large
up to 1 c extra flour
A day before mixing cake, warm fruit cake mix until it feels hot, then put it in a large unperforated oven bag or plastic bag with the undrained pineapple. Turn fruit occasionally, in a warm place, until juice is absorbed.
Mix the spices with three c of flour and put aside. Cream butter, sugar and essences until light and smooth, Beat in eggs, one at a time adding about 2 of the flour mix with each egg.
Toss together prepared fruit and remaining spiced flour in a large bowl or a roasting pan. Stir in the creamed mixture. The mixture should be just soft enough to drop from a spoon. If it seems too soft add extra flour.
Press mixture into a 23cm lined tin, levelling the top. Decorate with blanched almonds and cherries if desired. Bake at 150C for 1 1/2 hours, then at 130C for about 2 hours longer.