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 greased 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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