Thanks to yeast, this fruitcake’s bread-like texture soaks up the fruit-infused bourbon nicely. To make it alcohol-free, replace the bourbon with additional apple juice.
Makes 2 (8×4-inch) loaves
- 1½ cups chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, apples, ginger)
- ¾ cup bourbon
- ½ cup apple juice, warm
- 2 tablespoons warm water (105° to 110°)
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Garnish: candied orange slices, fresh rosemary
- In a medium bowl, combine dried fruit, bourbon, and juice. Let soak for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Butter 2 (8×4-inch) metal loaf pans.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons warm water and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. With a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl, strain fruit mixture; reserve fruit liquid.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and zest at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yeast mixture, beating until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cardamom. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in strained fruit mixture. Divide batter among prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until batter has risen 1 inch, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Pour 2 to 4 tablespoons reserved liquid over cakes immediately. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons reserved liquid. Pour over cooled cakes. Garnish with candied oranges and rosemary, if desired.