fruitcake

This recipe is not your Gramma’s fruitcake. It’s gluten-free, using ground almonds in place of flour, and is packed silly with dried fruits, nuts and holiday spice. Not for the faint of heart, this intense cake is loaded with sweet flavor, nutty crunch and incredible comfort. Serve sliced with butter, jam and spiked cocoa for the ultimate Christmas dessert.

Makes 1 (9 x 5-inch) fruitcake loaf

Cook time: 75 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup finely ground blanched almonds (will resemble flour)
½ cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped almonds
2 cups finely chopped figs
½ cup chopped dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon brandy, almond extract, or vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a bread loaf pan; line with parchment paper.

Whisk together ground almonds, sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in mixed nuts and dried fruits.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup and brandy until smooth. Add to fruit/nut mixture; mix well until fully combined (batter will be thick). Spread batter into prepared pan evenly.

Bake until fruitcake is brown and pulls away from sides of the pan, about 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Keeps for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature, covered lightly.

Image: Brett Jordan