(from Howard Klingstein)
one recipe makes 5 pounds and fills a pan 10"x16" (or 10"x18")
a double recipe makes 10 pounds
3 eggs, large size
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 28-ounce jar mince meat (with real meat, not just veggies) *
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound dried fruit, chopped medium **
(dates, raisins, prunes, apricots, figs, whatever)
if you chop them in the Cuisinart, use some of the flour to coat them
about 2 cups walnuts or mixed nuts (not salted) ***
1/2 cup brandy
In large bowl, beat eggs
Add condensed milk, mince meat, and applesauce
Sift flour and baking soda together. Stir into mixture.
Fold or stir in fruit and nuts. (Mixture should be moist but not
Line pan's bottom and sides with waxed paper greased with margarine
Bake at 315 degrees for 45 minutes until done.
Let age a few days. Pour brandy on it now and then.
Wrap in Saran Wrap and seal in plastic bag or bags.
Can be frozen; keeps well.
Notes by Lee Gold:
* mince meat (with beef): The UK only makes/exports vegan "mince meat" these days and many American brands are also vegan. As of 2011, the only brand I've seen on store shelves with beef is Borden's Nonesuch. Amazon sells this but it's horribly expensive, and you don't need to spend that much money. Go shopping a few days before Thanksgiving (when stores stock mincemeat for people wanting to make mincemeat pies). I found "condensed Borden's Nonesuch" at Pavilions and the real thing at Gelson's. Except the modern jars are one ounce less than that specified in my father's recipe, so we always buy one jar more, and spoon one ounce from the extra jar into each batch of fruit cake batter.
** Fruit: I buy dried fruit at Trader Joe's: Mission figs, Medjool dates, California apricots.
If you chop these in a Cuisinart, and bought enough for several recipes,
CAREFULLY measure how much flour goes into fruit so you know how much flour to deduct from the batter.
*** nuts: This year we tried one batch with the usual walnuts and another batch with cashews and pecans. I don't think the cashews were quite right, but the pecans seemed interesting. We'd gotten salted table nuts, but we washed the salt off before putting them in the batter.