Position oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 275°F.
Place a small pan of water on the lower shelf in the oven. Place cake in the center of the oven rack (that has been positioned in the lower third of the oven) and bake fruitcake for about 5¾ hours or until cake is firm to the touch and cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and place on rack. Let cake cool in pan for about 40 minutes before carefully removing from pan and letting rest on cooling rack.
Let cake cool completely before brushing with rum and wrapping in cheesecloth, followed by plastic wrap and tin foil, then storing in a sealed plastic bag in a cool, dry area. Remove wrapping and brush cake top and sides with rum once a week. Let cake “age” for at least 3-4 weeks before cutting and serving.
Yield: 1 - 6 lb cake
NOTE: Be sure to read the entire posting that accompanies this recipe for tips on how to make the perfect fruit cake.