Not your average fruitcake, this is the best one we've ever tasted. Seriously. OK, so yes, it is a big recipe, but trust us that it's as chock-full of wonderful flavor as it is with ingredients. And in the end, you'll be rewarded with enough cake to have your fill and give a few as gifts. Makes 4-5 small cakes (one pound each).
Mix all Part 1 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Butter and flour four or five 8- or 9-inch loaf pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or by hand with a wooden spoon), mix the butter, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add two eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add the last two eggs and the vanilla and mix to combine. Then add the fruit mixture and mix until the fruit is distributed evenly.
Divide the batter between your pans. *If you don't have enough pans, you can hold the batter in the refrigerator as needed.
Bake approximately 100 minutes, rotating the pans after 40 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans on a rack for 30 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon brandy over each cake and allow to cool for an additional 45 minutes.