Moist Apricot, Prune and Cherry Cake

The old-fashioned boiled fruit method is easiest for fruit cakes. It also produces a particularly moist cake which stays fresh for weeks or months in an airtight tin, so you can always have some cake ready for tea.

Vary the ingredients as you like; I often add nuts as well as different dried fruits. Nowadays tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and pineapple are available dried, which gives you great scope.

Ingredients

  • 100 g/4 oz dried apricots
  • 100 g/4 oz pitted prunes
  • 100 g/4 oz glacé cherries
  • 175 g/6 oz butter
  • 175 g/6 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 300 ml/½ pint unsweetened orange juice
  • 50 g/2 oz candied peel
  • 225 g/8 oz plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs

Method

Roughly chop the apricots and prunes and halve the cherries. Put the butter, sugar and orange juice into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Then add the prepared fruit and the candied peel. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter a 19 cm/ in cake tin, put a disc of buttered baking parchment on the bottom and dust lightly with flour. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Add the cooled fruit mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to mix in the flour evenly. Whisk the eggs lightly in a small bowl and then stir them thoroughly into the cake mixture. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1-1½ hours, until firm to a light touch in the centre. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides of the cake with a knife and turn out carefully on to a wire rack to cool.

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