A fruit cake of this type is light in color only, for it is very dense, leavened solely by a token amount of baking powder and 6 eggs. Dark fruit cakes are usually more heavily spiced and contain a darker, stronger flavored sweetener. In our cake, spices are added with a "light" touch and by using white sugar, the predominant flavor is that of the fruit and nuts.
Always make Fruitcakes 3 to 4 weeks ahead for a blended and mellow flavor.
Preheat your oven to a 275°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, or two 9 x 5-inch bread pans, or four 1-pound coffee cans (the wide, short kind) or 8 small bread pans.
In a very large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and spices. Add the nuts and fruit, mixing until they are well coated.
In a second bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the brandy or rum
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix only until they are well combined. Fill whichever pan you use 2/3 full and bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your pans.
After you remove the cakes from the oven, let them cool in their pans for 15 minutes. After this rest, remove the cake from its pan and immediately sprinkle brandy or rum over them; then let them cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Store in a cool place to let the flavors mellow and mature. You can sprinkle a few drops of brandy or rum over them every few days during the storage period if you wish. The alcohol evaporates and leaves only flavor.
These fruitcakes will last for months if you can keep them that long. They taste so good, they are hard to give away, but they do make wonderful gifts.
To serve, cut the cake in very thin slices. It is very rich and will go a long way, maybe even long enough to launch you happily into the New Year!