Easy Fruit Loaf/Cake

1:42 am on 9 May 2009

This well-flavoured fruit loaf /cake contains no eggs, milk or butter! I make it in a loaf tin and, for the first few days, cut it in fairly thick slices, which I then cut in half, as slices of fruit cake. After this, I slice the rest in thin slices and sometimes butter them, as the loaf stales.

Bake this in a loaf tin which holds 5-6 cups.

Ingredients

1 - 2 cups of dried fruit*
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp of canola or other flavourless oil
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar or extra white sugar
1 ½ tsp each of cinnamon and mixed spice
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

Method

Turn the oven on to 180 C with a rack in the middle.

Put all the prepared fruit in a pot, pour the boiling water over it, add the oil, and leave it to stand. Measure all the remaining ingredients into a bowl large enough to hold everything. Mix them together thoroughly with a whisk or with dry fingers.

Line the loaf tin with two strips of baking paper, one going crosswise, and the other lengthwise.

Tip all of the cool liquid and fruit mixture into the well-mixed dry ingredients. Using a spatula or silicone stirrer, gently fold everything together. The mixture should be just firm enough to drop from the stirrer. If necessary add one or two spoonfuls of water, orange or apple juice, or a little extra flour. DO NOT BEAT OR OVER-MIX.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the top.

Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before wrapping in cling film and refrigerating. Leave overnight before cutting with a sharp serrated knife. The loaf is best eaten in 8 - 10 days.

*For best results use 1 cup of raisins or sultanas and a second cup of a mixture of chopped dates and other finely chopped dried fruit such as dried mango dried apricots, dried pineapple, etc.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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