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Winter cake

Makes one 10-inch cake

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
1 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup dark raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
3/4 cup pitted dried tart cherries
1/2 cup dark rum
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup apricot preserves
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Butter a plain 10-inch tube pan, line the bottom with a parchment paper cut to fit, and butter the paper. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ginger, golden and dark raisins, dates, and cherries. Pour the rum over the fruit, toss well, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 hour.

3. Set the oven at 275 degrees.

4. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

5. In an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the light brown sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute on medium-high speed after each addition. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating for 1 minute more. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the vanilla and apricot preserves,

6. With the mixer set on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, just until it is absorbed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

7. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Add marinated fruit and liquid and walnuts. Mix well to combine. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top

8. Bake the cake for 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the cake is clean with a few stray crumbs when withdrawn. The cake will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.

9. Set the cake on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto another cooling rack, peel away the parchment paper, then invert again so the cake is right-side up. Cool completely. Lisa Yockelson

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