I had looked at this recipe in Cooking from Quilt Country several times over the years, thinking I would try it sometime – I’m sorry I waited. It was very easy to make, came out of the pan easily, and is simply delicious. It was rich and moist with a nice texture – I certainly wouldn't restrict it to Christmas.
I used golden raisins, and baked this in two 6 cup Bundt pans. It is not a mistake that there are no eggs in this recipe. I used lemon and orange peel from my stash in the freezer.
I was pleasantly surprised that the raisins and nuts came out evenly distributed throughout the cake, I assume because of the cooking process first. The hardest part about making this cake was waiting for the raisin mixture to cool down – about 30 minutes or so. I have never made a cake with this method, but it is moist and perfect. I am making another batch soon to keep in the freezer for coffee-times. It made more than 16 servings for us.
I discovered that one of my Pyrex mixing bowls made a perfect “cake keeper” with my very old green glass cake plate. Today, my husband asked when I was going to make this cake again, he thinks it's one of the best I make.
Amish Christmas Cake
1 cup pecans -- chopped (4 ounces)
2 sticks butter -- 1 cup
2 cups sugar
2 cups raisins
2 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon lemon peel -- grated
1 tablespoon orange peel -- grated
3 ½ cups flour, all-purpose -- sifted first (about 14 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large, deep kettle, combine first 8 ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat, for 4 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350° while mixture is cooling.
Add the lemon and orange rinds, and transfer to a large mixer bowl.
Sift together the flour and baking soda and, using slow speed, gradually beat it into the raisin mixture. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10" tube pan or a 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is medium brown and springs back up when touched with your finger.
Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes; then tip out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Cake freezes well and will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks.
I baked this in two 6 cup bundt pans for 40 - 45 minutes.
Yield: "12 cup bundt pan or 10” tube pan – 16 servings"
Cost 2011: $ 5.08 or 32¢ per serving
Per Serving: 407 Calories; 17g Fat (35.3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 64g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 200mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.