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Good Fruitcake

 Butter for pans
 1 pound pitted Medjool dates
 1/2 pound prunes from Agen or use more dates
 1 pound candied pineapple
 1 pound candied cherries
 1 cup chopped candied orange peel, or  1/4 cup freshly grated orange zest
 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 4 eggs
 1 cup granulated sugar
 2 teaspoons almond extract
 2 cups shelled salted pistachios
 1 cup shelled almonds
 2 1/2 cups shelled pecans
 2 cups shelled walnuts
 White corn syrup
 1/3 cup Armagnac, bourbon or whiskey

1. Butter two 9-inch springform pans. Line with parchment paper, and butter again.
Heat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Coarsely chop dates, prunes and pineapple. Combine fruit in a bowl with cherries and
orange peel. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift this over fruit. With your
hands, toss to coat.

3. In medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Beat in sugar, then almond extract. Pour over
fruit. With wooden spoon, mix well. Fold in pistachios, almonds, pecans and walnuts, and
mix until coated with batter.

4. Divide mixture between pans. Using your hands, pack batter firmly and fill in open spaces.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until tops of cakes look dry but not brown. When cakes are done,
transfer to cooling racks. Let stand for 5 minutes, then release springform and peel off
parchment paper on sides.

5. While cakes are still hot, brush lightly with corn syrup. Let cool 30 minutes, then spoon
Armagnac on top. When completely cool, remove cakes from pan base and peel off
parchment paper on bottom. If not eating right away, wrap fruitcakes in plastic wrap. They
will keep for two months in refrigerator. If storing, sprinkle with more Armagnac an hour
before serving. Yield: 2 fruitcakes.