This topic periodically comes up.
"All fruitcakes, and fruitcake recipes, are not the same.
Fruitcakes of different countries and cultures are completely different. Traditional English fruitcakes [and English "colonies"] mostly do not include large amounts of most candied fruits , and citron is not a part of most recipes. Citron, especially, can be virtually unknown.
Of course, there are recipes that include candied fruits, pineapple, citron etc.
They can be made using a "boiled fruitcake" technique, time-saving techniques [cake mixes], and lots of other ways.
Fruitcake is fruit with just enough traditional pound cake batter to hold it all together
NOTE: Most cakes are liberally doused with alcohol.
Fruitcake needs approximately 12 weeks to mature [definitely!]. Preserative of choice is usually alcohol. [12 weeks is usually minimum aging period]."
DELIA SMITH'S CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CAKE
3 tb brandy................1 lb currants
6 oz sultanas..............6 oz raisins
2 oz glacé cherries......2 oz mixed peel
8 oz flour* .................1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts nutmeg ............1/2 ts mixed spice
8 oz unsalted butter.....8 oz brown sugar**
4 eggs .......................2 oz almonds
2 ts black treacle ***..zest 1 lemon
zest 1 orange
* I use 1 1/2 c flour with 1/4 c self raising flour [approx 6 oz total].
** white is okay
*** molasses, corn syrup, etc
You will also need an 8 inch round cake tin or a 7 inch square tin, greased and lined with silicone paper. Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin for extra protection during long cooking period.
Weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. [I use at least 1/4 c. It can be any alcohol - marsala is terrific]Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.
Pre-heat the oven 140°C [I cook at 100-120oC fan-forced oven]. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy. add the beaten eggs to the creamed mixture; whisking until all the egg is incorporated. Fold in the flour and spices. Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests.
Transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, smooth. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a SMALL hole in the centre. Bake for 4 1/2-4 3/4 hours. Sometimes it can take up to 1/2-3/4 hour longer than this, but in any case don't look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
When it's cold 'feed' it [douse it with alcohol - 2 tb per 3 weeks for 12 week], wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container.
I love fruitcake!