Christmas Cake

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2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed citrus peel2 cups raisins1 cup dried currants1 cup dates, pitted and chopped2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched slivered almonds1/2 cup brandy1/2 cup all-purpose flour2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon ground cloves1 teaspoon ground allspice1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup butter2 cups packed brown sugar6 eggs3/4 cup molasses3/4 cup apple juice

In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, then wrap loosely in waxed paper. Store in an airtight container.

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