I have a recipe for a fruit cake that uses 2lb of mixed fruit plus 11oz currants and 15oz raisins

In the UK, mixed dried fruit is usually a mixture of sultanas, raisins, currants, and chopped candied peel, with little variation. If it is the same in America then I don't understand the addition of more currants and raisins, which would work only to halve the proportion of candied peel and sultanas

Is mixed dried fruit composed differently in the US?

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    You are probably aware of the difference, but just in case: Most of the fruit cakes I have had in the USA have been quite different from fruit cakes from Ireland/UK. A common perspective in the US is that a fruit cake is something of a perpetual gift. – copper.hat Apr 29 '17 at 5:01
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    Just for fun, Alton Brown's recipe for fruitcake has almost perfect reviews and the fruits are very different from the mix in my answer. – Jolenealaska Apr 29 '17 at 5:15
  • A generic product would be sold by dozens of brands with various different compositions. – curiousdannii Apr 29 '17 at 5:43

From a Google search, I found several brands of mixed dry fruits available in the US. Some do contain raisins and/or currants, but not most. Typically, they contain apricots, apples, peaches, plums, pears and sometimes nectarines. Like This

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  • I never thought of searching the stores. That's excellent, thank you. I can't buy anything like that in the UK, but all those fruits are available separately and I can just make up the mixture myself. – Borodin Apr 29 '17 at 0:05
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    Nice thing about doing it that way is that you can use more of your favorites, and less of what you don't like as much. For fruit cake, I'd also consider dried pineapple. – Jolenealaska Apr 29 '17 at 0:06
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    That almost sounds more like snacks that you'd take on a hike ... not at all what I'd think of as a fruitcake blend. – Joe Apr 29 '17 at 12:27
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    @Joe Most of what I have seen in the US sold as mixed dried fruits is indeed what you would use for a trail mix base, often with carob, chocolate and/or nuts added. Most of the perpetual gift fruit cakes I have ever seen use those strange concoctions candied fruits like dyed green cherries, and very different product, however recipes that use dried fruits seem to be becoming much more frequent, more of a very tasty treat and far less of a joke item. – dlb Apr 29 '17 at 22:20
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    @dlb : You know that the red cherries are dyed, too, right? thespruce.com/the-truth-about-maraschino-cherries-759977 . I guess in the US, they tend to be more 'candied' fruit, rather than just 'dried' fruit. – Joe Apr 30 '17 at 13:26

Even UK recipes do this. See for example the Christmas cake recipe in Fast cakes by Mary Berry. And UK mixed dried fruit is quite variable (the cheapest is mostly currants, peel is optional and listed on the front of the packet, you get more exotic fruit like pineapple and papaya in the more expensive packs).

The reason for mixed fruit plus raisins (or currants) is to make a mix that's mainly raisins whatever the mixed fruit is. I don't tend to use currants but always have raisins on the go, so would replace the currants with raisins without a thought. I also go for the correct total of dried fruit with a minimum of open packets at the end. Small changes in the proportions don't make a big difference to the end result.

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