A saucepan and a wooden spoon are the only pieces of equipment you will need to make this scrumptious moist fruit cake. Eaten with a good chunk of farmhouse Cheddar, creamy Caerphilly or crumbly Cheshire, this is an incredibly easy packed lunch, making it the perfect ‘bite’ for fishermen while waiting for a fish to bite… If you’ve not got any dried apricots or figs, simply replace these with currants or sultanas, or use a 500g pack of ready-mixed dried fruits to replace all of the dried fruits in the recipe, which makes it very straightforward.
- Yield: 10 to 12 Servings
- 125 g unsalted butter or 125 ml sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
- 125 g light soft brown or muscovado sugar
- 1 good tbsp golden syrup or honey
- 125 ml milk
- 200 g raisins
- 150 g dried apricots, each cut into 5 or 6 pieces
- 150 g dried figs, each cut into 6 or 8 pieces
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 250 g self-raising flour
- Put the butter or oil, sugar, syrup or honey, milk and dried fruit into a saucepan with 125 ml water. Stir over a gentle heat until the butter has melted and the ingredients are well combined. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened and a soft caramel colour, stirring from time to time to prevent it sticking to the base. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. When the mixture is cool, stir in the beaten eggs and sift in the flour. Then, using a wooden spoon, beat together thoroughly until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling it out with the back of the spoon. Bake in the oven for 60–70 minutes until the top is evenly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out very slightly sticky. Leave the cake in the tin until cold before turning out.
- This is a cake that is better left for a few days before eating. It will keep for several weeks stored in an airtight tin.