Whisk together the flour, sugar, mixed spice and yeast. Combine the vanilla and almond extract with 300 ml (10½ fl oz) water and gradually stir into the flour. Bring the mixture together into a soft dough and tip out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour if too sticky. Put in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave somewhere warm for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, peel, chop and core the apples and put in a heavy lidded pan with 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water. Simmer with the lid ajar for 20 minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary. Purée in a food processor. Pour purée into the pan and add the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and star anise. Cook over a very low heat for 1 hour, or until the purée is thick and deep brown. Discard the star anise.
Lightly oil a loaf (bar) tin and line the base with baking paper. Combine the orange zest and dried fruit. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface, flatten with your knuckles and gradually knead in the dried fruit. Roll into a log shape, put in the loaf tin and cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel). Set aside for 10 minutes.
While the dough is proving, heat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and put a baking tin half-filled with water in the bottom of the oven. Bake the loaf on the middle shelf for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3) and bake for a further 45 minutes. Leave in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve with the apple butter.