For this recipe you may use store bought candied orange peel or make a batch of homemade with the easy-to-prepare recipe below.
Candied Orange Peel
Yield: 1 8-inch square cake.
Preheat oven to 300° F and grease an 8-inch square pan and line with two layers of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with tin foil (this insulates the cake through its slow cooking process).
Toss apricots, pineapple, candied orange peel, cherries, raisins and pecan halves with 1/2 cup of flour and set aside. Sift remaining flour with baking powder.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in zests. Add flour alternately with brandy in three additions until evenly incorporated. Stir in fruits and spread into prepared pan. Bake in centre of oven for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until a tester is inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
For icing, beat butter with 1/4 cup of icing sugar until fluffy. Stir in brandy and beat in remaining icing sugar until desired spreadable consistency is achieved. Spread over top of cake.
Fruitcake can be stored up to a month (plain) or a week (iced) in an airtight container.
To prepare oranges for blanching, slice off top and tail of the orange and score the orange lengthwise in 5 places. Pull the scored peel off the orange, as if peeling the fruit to eat. Julienne the peel in 1/4-inch slices and dice. Blanch the peel in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes and drain (this draws away the bitterness). Return peel to pot with sugar and 1 cup of water and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until peel looks translucent. Drain well and spread peel onto a baking sheet to cool and dry for 1 to 2 hours.
Store candied orange peel in an airtight container until ready to use.
Yield: approximately 3/4 cup.