By Sheryl Kirby

Makes 18 large-muffin-sized fruitcakes

2 cups diced candied orange peel or mixed peel
1/2 cup Thompson raisins
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau) or orange juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
extra liqueur for brushing (Note: if using juice, do not brush the fruitcakes with additional liquid)

In a medium bowl, stir together the candied peel, raisins and currants. Add the orange liqueur and mix well. Cover the bowl; set aside overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with 18 baking cups; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter and brown sugar; using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the walnuts, pecans and the soaked fruit along with the soaking liquid and mix well. Spoon the batter into the baking cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a fruitcake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the fruitcakes from the muffin tins and transfer to a wire cooking rack. Cool the fruitcakes completely. Lightly brush the top of each fruitcake with additional liqueur. Store the fruitcakes in an airtight container to cure, lightly brushing with liqueur about once a week for 5 to 6 weeks.