Thanks for linking that, Heidi. The recipe itself is published here.
I don't fancy my chances of finding Concord wine in this neck of the woods, but I guess any not-too-dry red wine might do the job. And presumably one could get a black, as opposed to brown, cake with food colouring in the absence of the burnt West Indian stuff.
No - I did not mean to specify Laurie Colwin's recipe. You made me hunt down my recipe card (giant bump on the head now with ice-pack after crawling into the attic)
Grandmother's Fruitcake (from Panama)
In an attempt to reconstruct this cake from other people's memories I used the wedding cake batter from page 699 of the Culinary Arts Institute cookbook - no clue what version as book has disappeared
Soak fruits up to 2 months ahead: (all fruits candied)
1/2 lb. citron, 1/2 lb. orange peel, 1/2 lb. lemon peel, small jar maraschino cherries (!), 1/2 lb. currants, 1/2 lb. raisins covered in mix of sweet port & rum. A week before use add a jar of mincemeat
Batter: You will use about half of the fruits
Cream 1 cup butter w/ 1/2 lb brown sugar and beat in a cup of dark honey and 6 eggs. Add aprox 3/4 tsp each ground cloves, cinnamon, allspice. Then 1 tsp each vanilla, rose water, and lemon extract. Sift 2 cups cake flour w/ 1 tsp baking powder.
Add the fruit and pour into greased and floured pans..
Bake at 275 degrees about 3 to 3 and a half hours. When cool baste with the booze mixture from the fruit and wrap tightly in cling film. Continue to baste over time.
Best enjoyed in very thin slices with strong black tea.