1 lb flour 1 lb sugar 1 lb butter 12 eggs, yolks and white beaten separately 2 lbs raisins, seeded and cut in half[i] 2 lbs currants, picked, washed, and dried. [ii] 1 lb citron, cut in thin strips but right large 1 gravy spoonful of cinnamon 1 tablespoon mace 4 nutmegs[iii] These spices well mixed in a saucer or plate. Mix together 2 large glasses of white wine, 1 of brandy, and one of rose water.[iv] Have all these things prepared the day before you expect to make the cake. Dredge raisins and currants, cream sugar and butter together, add the eggs and flour alternately, then add by degrees the fruit, spices, and liquor, stirring the whole thing very hard at the last. Put immediately into a moderate oven and bake at least four hours[v], leaving in the oven to cool, will be better for staying all night. Ice next day first dredging the outside with flour and wiping it off with a towel. This will make it stick better. [vi]
[i] Never, ever, have I cut 2 lbs of raisins in half!
[ii] Not necessary with dried currants, which we used.
[iii] I’ve copied this recipe verbatim. Of course, these should be grated.
[iv] These measurements are very imprecise. Add only a little liquid at a time until you have the consistency of cake batter, otherwise you may end up with a very soggy fruitcake!
[v] This refers to a woodstove. 4 hours will burn your cake. Try baking at 325 F and begin using a toothpick to test for doneness in 45 minutes. Color will not indicate doneness.