- 150g raisins
- 100g glacé cherries, halved
- 50g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
- 2 tbsp rum or brandy
- 500g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 125g chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 200ml milk
- Butter, for spreading (optional)
- A few hours before baking (or the night before) put the raisins, cherries and apricots into a bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly through a colander or sieve. Return to the bowl and stir in the rum or brandy. Cover and leave for a few hours, or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Place the loaf pan onto a baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then tip in the soaked fruit, along with any remaining rum or brandy.
- Beat the egg and milk together. Add just enough to the fruit mixture to make a soft dough (it shouldn’t be sticky). There should be a little egg mixture left. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few seconds. Form into a log shape that will fit into the loaf pan. Lift it in, and brush the surface with a little egg and milk mixture.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a fine skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Turn out and cool completely, then slice with a sharp, serrated knife and serve plain or spread with butter.
Tip: You could use mixed dried fruit instead of raisins, cherries and apricots, so long as you have 300g in total.