"This is my favourite time of year, glace fruit and mixed peel do not appear in this recipe – but if you wish to add this, do so – just subtract the other fruit quantities."
1 kg sultanas, chopped raisins and currants
250 g chopped apricots
250 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup brandy or orange juice
½ cup cold tea or water
3 tsp finely grated orange rind
2 tsp finely chopped lemon rind
1 Tbsp treacle
5 large eggs lightly beaten
2 cups high-grade flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
whole blanched almonds
Line a deep 23 cm round or 20 cm square tin with three layers of paper, bringing paper 5 cm above the edge of the pan.
Combine sultanas, raisins and currants. Add apricots, butter, sugar, brandy/orange juice and cold tea in a large pot.
Stir over heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes; cool to room temperature.
Stir in orange and lemon rind. Add treacle and eggs. Then sift and add dry ingredients. Mix in with gentle, folding movements. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan, decorate the top with almonds.
Bake in a slow 150 deg C oven for 2 ½ - 3 hours.
When the cake comes out of the oven, splash a little extra brandy over the top of the cake.
Cover hot cake with a tea towel, cool in pan.