Nani’s fruit spice cake recipe

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  • Yield: 1 (9") cake


For the Cake
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted, raw almonds
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • 1⁄3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • ¾ cup mixed peel, chopped finely
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dried plums, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped finely
  • 1¾ cups sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk, brandy, or rum
  • 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
For the Apricot Glaze
  • ½ cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon water
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. For the Cake
  3. To the bowl of a food processor, add almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. Pulse until the texture becomes like a fine meal—you want the nuts to have a bit of texture but without any large pieces.
  4. To a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground spices. In another bowl, add the mixed peel, raisins, dried plums, and apricots and toss with a bit of the flour mixture. Coat the fruits in flour—this will help suspend the fruit in the mixture and prevent it all from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a small, nonstick saucepan, melt ¼ cup of sugar over medium heat and heat until the sugar caramelizes. You want to achieve a deep amber color, but be careful not to let it burn. As soon as it turns amber, remove from the heat and add the ¼ cup of water as well as the ¼ cup of milk, brandy, or rum to stop the cooking. Caramel gets very hot, so be careful not to splash when you add the liquids. If some of the caramel hardens up, gently heat the mixture until it’s a uniform syrup.
  6. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer on low, cream together the butter with 1½ cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate each time. Alternating, add 1⁄3 of the flour mixture and 1⁄3 of the caramel mixture until both are used up. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give it one more mix—you just want the flour to incorporate. Fold in the floured fruits by hand.
  7. Immediately, pour the batter into a greased, floured, parchment-lined springform pan and bake on the middle rack for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before turning out—you may need to run your knife along the sides to loosen the cake, but it should pop out nicely.
  8. For the Apricot Glaze
  9. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the apricot preserves and the water until uniform. Brush the cooled cake with the glaze before cutting and serving.

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