HISTORIC COLONIAL FRUIT CAKE
Pickled watermelon rind was called American citron in the 18th century. It adds its special flavor to this chock-full-if-fruits cake. Bake this cake at 300 degrees for 2 hours if using a 10" tube pan or if making these using eight 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2" loaf pans.
Here are the ingredients: 2 jars (10 oz. ea) pickled watermelon rind - drained, 1 carton (8 oz.) candied red cherries, 1 carton (8 oz.) candied pineapple, 1 -15 oz, box golden raisins, 2 cups slivered almonds (8 oz.), 2 cups chopped walnuts (8 oz.), 3 cups sifted all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder, (reduce to 1 1/2 tsp in high altitude)1 cup (2 sticks) butter, 2 cups sugar, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup of brandy or orange juice.
1. Grease a 10" tube pan and line with parchment paper; grease the paper
2. Drain syrup from watermelon rind. Cut rind into tiny slivers. Cut the candied cherries in half; chop pineapple. Combine watermelon slivers, cherries, pineapple, raisins, walnut and almonds in a very large bowl. (even a roaster will work)
3. Sift flour, baking powder into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of mixture over fruits to coat then - toss.
4. Using a mixer, beat the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl at high speed for 3 minutes until fluffy.
5. Stir in flour mixture alternately with brandy or orange juice , beating after each addition until the batter is quite smooth.
6. Pour batter over prepared fruits and nuts and folk just until well blended. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pans.
7. Bake in a slow oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours for a 10" tube pan or the foil pans.
The top springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip when done. Cool on wire rack, loosen around edge and tube with knife and turn onto wire rack. Peel off parchment paper. Cool completely and sprinkle with brandy. Wrap in heavy foil and store for at least 1 week. You can leave them in the individual foil cake pans which come with plastic lids.