700g mixed dried fruit
2 C self raising flour
2 C orange juice
approx 300g nuts
a very ripe banana
good pinch of salt 1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Seriously chock full of fruit and nuts, this is one super easy loaf. It’s made without eggs, sugar and butter but utilises a couple of winter oranges and a very ripe banana. It’s dense and fruity and just as you would expect, it’s pretty darn good with a cup of tea. The recipe is from Mary – a dear lady now passed, who once wrote this out for my mum with her own aside in the margin: “I added nuts, a wee tip of a teaspoon of cloves, some nutmeg, and cinnamon”. I’ve taken her ‘wee tip’ to mean a quarter of a teaspoon, but I’m sure Mary would be okay if you spiced your own Winter fruit loaf as you feel.
Makes 2 loaf tins or 1 bigger 20cm cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Chop up your fruit and nuts, and mix together well with the orange juice, banana, flour, spices and salt. Pour into a greased and lined tin, and bake for an hour and a half.
The quantities here are pretty flexible, her original version has 1kg of fruit (leaving out the nuts) but her note on the side with this evolution is just perfect. Use your favourite ingredients – this version had roughly equal parts of dates, figs and sultanas along with almonds and pecans. Though apparently brazil nuts are Mary’s top choice for this one. It’s even better the next day, once it has softened and the flavours have combined even more and should keep well with all that deliciousness inside.