Any combination of dried fruits can work for this – as long as the overall quantity remains the same you can vary the amounts and types to suit your preference.
Makes one 23 cm round cake
3 cups sultanas
1 cup currants
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried pineapple
1 cup whole almonds
¾ cup cranberries
½ cup crystallised ginger, lightly chopped
½ cup New Zealand dried apricots, lightly chopped
½ cup dry sherry
2 cups chopped dates
1 cup brown sugar
6 SPCA Blue Tick eggs
2½ cups plain flour
1 tsp each cinnamon and mixed spice
1 tsp each vanilla, lemon and almond essences
whole blanched almonds to decorate
Mix all the fruit mixture ingredients except the sherry and dates together. Pour hot water over the fruit mixture.
Leave in the sun for 1hr (or place in oven at 100ºC for 20 min). Drain.
Put the fruit mixture in a plastic bag with the sherry and dates and leave for several hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line 23cm round tin with double thickness of baking paper to 5cm above the rim.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of flour and beat together. Repeat until all eggs are used, then mix in the spices and essences.
Sprinkle fruit with the remaining flour, mix in batter and spoon into the cake tin. Decorate with blanched almonds.
Place the cake on a rack in the lower part of the oven and bake for 1hour. Then reduce the temperature to 120ºC and bake for a further hour, until skewer comes out clean.
Leave to stand until cool and then turn out onto a wire rack. When cold, wrap loosely in greaseproof paper and store in a cool place – or wrap in foil then place in the refrigerator.
Mojo Mathers has kindly donated this recipe to our SPCA Blue Tick Cookbook 'Made with Love’. All the royalties from this cookbook go to SPCA New Zealand. Buy your copy here.
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