Originally fruit cake was made during the summer with the left over
dried fruits of the season and the cake was preserved with rum or
alcohol and eaten the following winter. The reason the cake is sold in
tins is because it used to be baked in tins and the oiled paper was used
to keep the alcohol from soaking through into the tin and being
re-absorbed into the cake. After baking, it would be removed from the
tins, wrapped in cheese cloth and replaced in the tins. Get that? NO CAKE
TOUCHING TIN, nor touching anything that could absorb metal from tin?
But to me, wet cheese cloth CAN absorb TIN ELEMENTS. SO let's do it all
in parchment or waxed paper.

An internet list gave us a woman who said, " My Aunt use to make them the old
fashioned way, real butter in the batter, no chemicals in the dried
fruit and baked in the tins. Wrapped in cheesecloth for the rum and then
the special oiled paper, waxed paper, or parchment. OK. THAT WORKS. Seems
that every month she  would unfold the tops of the cheese cloth and pour dark rum over the
tops of cakes and re-cover them. When the holiday seasons arrived these
were cakes to die for, absolutely delicious, looking and tasting nothing
like the ones we eat today. So,  here is the recipe, GO FOR IT!


         1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
        1/8 cup chopped dried mango and dried peaches
          1/4 cup dried cranberries and lemon rind
          1/4 cup dried currants or fig pieces
           2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
          1/4 cup dark rum
          1/2 cup butter
          1/4 cup packed brown sugar
          1 egg
          1/2 cup all-purpose flour
          1/8 teaspoon baking soda
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          1/4 cup molasses (NOT blackstrap)
          2 tablespoons milk
          1/4 cup chopped pecans
          1/4 cup dark rum, divided

   1. Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.

   2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6x3-inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

   3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

   4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.

   5. Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.