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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