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Amish Friendship Fruit Starter

3/4 cup canned sliced peaches with syrup
3/4 cup canned pineapple chunks with syrup
4 ounces red maraschino cherries, drained, halved
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast (some recipes will
    substitute 2 tablespoon brandy)

For later addition:
1/2 cup canned sliced peaches with syrup
1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks with syrup

To Replenish Starter

DAY 1:
1 1/2 cups starter juice
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (32 ounce) can sliced peaches with syrup

DAY 10:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (32 ounce) can pineapple chunks with juice or 1 (16 ounce)
    can pineapple chunks and 1 (16 ounce) can fruit cocktail

DAY 20:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 (4 ounce) jars maraschino cherries, drained and halved
    (You can use 1 jar of red and one jar of green for color,
    or use 1 (10 ounce jar)

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. Do not refrigerate this mixture. Keep loosely covered.

Two weeks after starting the starter, add 1/2 cup peaches and 1/2 cup pineapple with 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 One, and begin the process for renewing starter and making cake.

DAY 1: To reserved 1 1/2 cups starter juice (or to starter juice given you by a friend), add 2 1/2 cups sugar and a 32 ounce can of peaches with syrup. Stir daily. Keep loosely covered. Do not refrigerate.

DAY 10: Add 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar and pineapple chunks with juice. Stir daily. Keep loosely covered. Do not refrigerate.

DAY 20: Add 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar and drained and halved maraschino cherries. Stir daily. Keep loosely covered. Do not refrigerate.

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 aforementioned process).

NOTE: At the end of 30 days, you will have enough excess starter juice to give to about four friends. Be sure to keep enough juice (1 1/2 cups) for your own starter. At the end of 30 days, there will be enough fruit to use 1 3/4 cups fruit in each cake, which makes the cake better and doesn't waste the fruit.

The cakes can be frozen. It is not necessary to bake all three cakes the same day, but stir the remaining fruit mixture every day until it is used (this fruit mixture can be refrigerated until used). The drained fruit can be frozen until you are ready to bake the cakes.


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