Spiced Fruit Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

Dried Fruit:

  • 2 cups mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, golden raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, chopped dates, etc.)
  • ½ cup chopped candied peel (optional)
  • ¼ cup brandy, rum, or orange juice (for soaking)

Spices:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • Pinch of ground cloves (optional)

Wet:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Dry:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Glaze (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam or honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Instructions

  • Soak Fruit: Combine your choice of dried fruits (and candied peel if you like) with brandy, rum, or orange juice. Let soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight for richer flavor.
  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Simmer: Combine water, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Whisk Eggs and Honey: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey.
  • Combine Wet Ingredients: Pour the cooled butter mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Assemble Dough: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined (don’t overmix). Drain the soaked fruit and gently fold it into the batter.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Glaze (optional): While the loaf is still warm, melt the apricot jam or honey with hot water and brush it over the top for a glossy finish.
  • Cool and Enjoy: Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy sliced and toasted with butter!

Tips:

  • Customization: Adjust the spices and dried fruits for your own flavor combination.
  • No-Soak Method: If short on time, you can skip soaking the fruit, although this will yield a less intensely flavored loaf.
  • Storage: The spiced fruit loaf keeps well at room temperature for a few days or can be frozen for later enjoyment.

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