Adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea by Rose Carrarini
180g chopped dried apricots
180g chopped stoned dates
150g chopped dried figs
150g dried cranberries
180ml sunflower oil
2 bananas, mashed
200ml apple juice
80g molasses sugar or dark brown sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
400g wholemeal self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
1 Soften the apricots, dates, figs and cranberries in 400ml of warm water for about 30 minutes.
2 Heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180ºC). Oil a 25cm (10in) cake tin, and line the base and sides with baking paper.
3 Drain the fruits, retaining the liquid in case you need it later. Put the fruits in a bowl, and add the bananas, apple juice, oil, sugar and lemon zest.
5 In another bowl, sift together the flour and mixed spice. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet fruit mixture, and stir carefully to get a soft, wet consistency. If the mixture is too dry and stiff, add some of the soaking liquid.
6 Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 45-60 minutes (I found that it really did need a good 60 minutes – but then, my oven isn’t terribly efficient). Remove from the oven when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin.
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