This recipe is another blast from the past. Xmas Fruit and Nut Cake is also known as stained glass window cake and it was very popular when I was teenager. I haven’t made one in years but I had lots of leftover dried fruit and nuts from my Christmas baking that I didn’t want to go to waste. The original recipe was from another old cookbook I have on my shelves, The Australian Women’s Weekly New Cookbook.
The original recipe used glacé cherries, pineapple and apricots plus a variety of nuts but as I’m not a huge fan of glacé fruit I substituted other fruits. Apart from some glacé cherries and ginger I used figs, raisins and chopped mixed peel instead. I couldn’t go past my cute little loaf tins so I made 4 mini cakes and one larger cake from the mixture.
Here's the recipe for you.
Christmas Fruit and Nut or Stained Glass Window Cake
(adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly New Cookbook)
250 (8 oz) whole seedless dates
125 g (4 oz) soft figs, halved
125 g (4 oz) glacé ginger, coarsely chopped
90g (3 oz) red glacé cherries, whole
90g (3 oz) green glacé cherries, whole
50 g (1¾ oz) raisins
50 g (1¾ oz) mixed peel, finely chopped
170g (5½ oz) brazil nuts
125 g (4 oz) blanched almonds
80g (2 ¾ oz) walnuts
2 large (60g) eggs
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon rum
90 g (3 oz) softened butter
¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
60g (2 oz) glacé ginger, coarsely chopped
50g (1¾ oz) red glacé cherries, whole
50g (1¾ oz) green glacé cherries, whole
90g (3 oz) brazil nuts
60 g (2 oz) blanched almonds
50g (1¾ oz) walnuts
A few halved dates or figs
Apricot jam for glazing
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
Line 1 bar tin (9 cm x 22 cm) or 8 small loaf tins (5 cm x 10 cm) with baking paper.
Combine the fruit and whole nuts in a bowl and mix well. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy; add the eggs and the rum and stir well to combine. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a small bowl. Add the flour and the ground almonds to the creamed mixture with the combined fruit and nuts. Divide the mixture evenly between the pans.
If desired place the extra fruit on top, pressing down gently into the mixture. Bake the small cakes for 45 minutes and the large cake for 1½ hours.
Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. When completely cold, wrap the cakes in plastic wrap or foil and store in an airtight tin until required.
If desired, glaze the top of the cake just before serving with warmed apricot jam.
Slice thinly to serve.
Any combination of glace fruit and nuts can be used. The original recipe used glace pineapple and apricots but I used figs and ginger instead.
The sliced cake still looks like a stained glass window, just like I remembered.
See you all tomorrow with the next recipe from my 2012 Christmas Collection,