This lighter version of a classic fruitcake still has plenty of festive spice and juicy fruit.
SERVES 14-16 PREP 30 mins plus soaking COOK 3 hrs EASY 4 tbsp rum or brandy
1 orange, zested and juiced 600g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, apricots, cherries, cranberries)
200g butter, very soft
200g golden caster sugar
50g ground almonds
200g plain flour
100g pecan nuts or whole skinned almonds, chopped
100g candied peel, chopped 75g crystallised or candied ginger, chopped
For the decoration apricot jam (warmed and sieved) or apricot glaze candied pineapple, candied angelica, glacé cherries (a mixture of red, green and yellow if you can find them), crystallised ginger
1 Put the rum, orange juice and zest and mixed dried fruit in a bowl and stir. Leave to soak overnight.
2 Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 31 /2. Double line a 20cm tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one by one, then fold in the almonds and flour. Add a pinch of salt and fold in the soaked fruit and any remaining liquid in the bowl, along with the nuts, candied peel and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface.
3 Bake for 1 hr, turn the oven down to 150C/130C fan/gas 2 and bake for a further 2 hrs. Check the cake to see if it is pulling away from the sides of the tin and feels firm on top. If you need to, keep cooking for another 15 mins. Cool in the tin. If storing in the tin, wrap it tightly first. Will freeze for up to two months.
4 To decorate the cake, brush it with the apricot jam or glaze and arrange your choice of candied fruit on top. Will keep in a sealed container for up to three weeks.
GOOD TO KNOW 1 of 5-a-day
PER SERVING 420 kcals • fat 18g • saturates 7g • carbs 55g • sugars 44g • fibre 3g • protein 5g • salt 0.4g