In most Jamaican households, there are many tell-tale signs which let you know that Christmas is a coming. Apart from cleaning the entire home and the outdoors, there is preparation for the Christmas meal.
One of the very first signs is the soaking of fruits in wine for baking the infamous Jamaican Christmas fruitcake and Christmas pudding. In our home, we use Red Label Wine or cake wine for our Christmas fruit cake, and White Rum for the bread pudding.I know of persons who soak their fruits three months in advance, but we soak ours for at least 24 hours before baking our Christmas cake. The fruit cake recipe I used last year and will use again this Christmas is as follows:
CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE
1½ cups flour
8 ounces margarine or butter
8 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon salt
Soak in wine . . . approx. 1 pound raisins, 4 ounces mixed peel , 4 ounces cherries, ½ pound prunes (chopped)
1 cup wine/brandy
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
finely grated rind of 1 lime/lemon (lime/lemon zest)
1. Cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
2. Sieve all dry ingredients together.
3. Beat eggs, wine/brandy together.
4. Add egg mixture and lime/lemon zest to creamed butter and sugar.
5. Use your blender to puree soaked fruits and combine with the mixture.
6. Add flour and fold in. Do no over-beat when mixing.
7. Pour into prepared tin and bake at 350oF for 1½ hours.