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Applesauce Fruitcake

Applesauce Fruitcake

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups raisins or currants
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, coarsely chopped
2 cups applesauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Line bottom with wax paper and grease again.

In large bowl, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend well.

Combine 1/2 cup of flour with nuts, raisins, dates and 1/2 cup cherries, stir until coated. Set aside.

Add remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt to egg mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened, then beat 2 minutes on medium speed.

Fold fruit and nut mixture and applesauce into batter. Pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan. Arrange cherry halves and pecans on top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean.

Cool upright in pan 5 minutes. Turn upright onto wire rack and remove pan and parchment paper. Cool completely.

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