The following makes 1 large loaf!
– 100g dried figs
– 100g raisins
– Juice & grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
– 100g dates
– 100g glace cherries, halved
– 100g mixed candied peel, chopped
– 100g walnuts
– 100g unblanched almonds
– 3 medium eggs
– 125g caster sugar
– 100g self-raising flour
– 1/4 tsp salt
– Line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment. Remove the hard stalks from the digs and cut the figs into strips. Set aside a few strips for decoration and put the rest in a bowl. Add the raisins, stir in the lemon juice and leave to soak for at least an hour.
– Heat the oven to 108 degrees / gas mark 4. Cut the dates in half and set aside a few pieces for decoration. Put the rest of the dates in a bowl, add the glace cherries, candied peel and lemon zest and mix loosely. Stir in the walnuts, almonds and soaked fruit and mix again.
– Briefly whisk the eggs with the sugar, using a fork or hand whisk, to start dissolving the sugar. Add the fruit and nuts and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and salt and stir until there is no flour pocket remaining in the mixture, be careful not to over-mix.
– Transfer the mixture to the lined tin and then decorate with the reserved figs and dates.
– Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150 degrees / gas mark 2 and bake for a further 30 minutes, until a small knife or wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, without any crumbs sticking to it. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
– To serve, cut into thin slices and use to make cheese sandwiches, or cut into batons and piled them up with cheese wedges on your cheeseboard.
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