With Christmas around the corner l always think of dried fruits, spices and rich smells coming out of my kitchen. This recipe is one my Mum has used for as long as l know, a stable winter lunch box filler for my Dad during the winter months. A great afternoon tea cake to share with friends and family during┬áthe festive season, it’s quick, easy and it keeps for up to a month in an air tight container. For my mixed dried fruits, l used a combination of raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots and figs, but you can use whatever you have available in your cupboard.

500g mixed dried fruit
125ml water
220g soft brown sugar
125g butter, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate os soda
125ml sherry
1 egg
150g plain flour
150g SR flour
60g blanched almonds
2 tablespoons extra sherry
icing sugar to decorate
Combine the fruit, sugar, butter, spice, bicarb and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted, bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sherry. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 160C / 140C fan forced. Grease a deep 20cm round cake pan.
When the fruit mixture has cooled, stir in the flours and egg and spend evenly over the base of the cake tin, decorate with almonds. Bake for 1 and a half hours .
Brush the top of the hot cake with the extra sherry, cover with foil and cool in tin.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.


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