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AMISH FRIENDSHIP FRUIT STARTER 
3/4 cup sliced peaches
3/4 cup pineapple chunks
4 ounces red maraschino cherries, drained, halved
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast (optional)
2 tablespoon brandy

For later addition:

1/2 cup sliced peaches
1/2 cup pineapple chunks

Note: Do not discard the syrup or fruit juice from the canned peaches and pineapples (use it in this recipe along with the fruit).

To Replenish Starter:

DAY 1:

1 1/2 cups starter juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (32 ounce) can sliced peaches

DAY 10:

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (32 ounce) can pineapple chunks or
1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks and 1 (16 ounce) can fruit cocktail

DAY 20:

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 8 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

In a 1-gallon glass jar with wide mouth and lid, combine the peaches, pineapple, maraschino cherries, sugar and yeast (make sure the yeast is well mixed with syrup). Stir two times the first day. Stir once a day afterwards. Keep loosely covered with cloth and store at room temperature.

After the starter has been going for two weeks, add 1/2 cup each of crushed pineapples and peaches, along with their syrup.

Wait several days, stirring daily, then drain 2 cups of mixed fruit and use to make cake as directed in the cake recipe. Reserve 1 1/2 cups starter juice and leave in glass gallon jar. Count this as Day 1, and begin the process for renewing starter and making cake.

DAY 1:

To 1 1/2 cups starter juice, add 2 1/2 cups sugar and 1 32 ounce can of peaches, including syrup. Keep loosely covered with cloth and stir daily. Keep at room temperature.

DAY 10:

Add 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar and pineapple chunks along with their juice. Keep loosely covered with cloth and stir daily. Keep at room temperature.

DAY 20:

Add 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar and drained and halved maraschino cherries. Keep loosely covered with cloth and keep at room temperature. Stir daily.

DAY 30:

Drain fruit, reserving 1 1/2 cups juice for renewing starter. Use drained fruit to make 3 Amish Friendship Fruit Cakes, give excess starter juice to friends, and start a new batch of fruit. Repeat this process.

NOTE: At the end of 30 days, you will have enough extra starter juice to share with your friends. Give away 1 1/2 cups of starter to each, and keep 1 1/2 cups for yourself.

At the end of 30 days, there will be enough fruit to use 1 3/4 cups fruit in each cake.

Amish Fruitcakes freeze well.

If you don't bake all three of the cakes on the same day, stir the remaining fruit mixture every day until it has been used. Store under refrigeration until ready for use, or drain and freeze.

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