Dense Fruit Bread

Dense Fruit Bread

200 g (6 1/2 oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped
200 g (6 1/2 oz) dried figs, roughly chopped
200 g (6 1/2 oz) pitted dried dates, roughly chopped
100 g (3 1/3 oz) raisins
2 cups (500 ml / 16 fl oz) water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 cups (240 g / 7 2/3 oz) gluten-free self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup (115 g / 3 2/3 oz) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease and line a 24 cm x 12 cm (9 1/2 in x 5 in) loaf tin.
2. Put the dried fruit and water into a pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
3. Sift the flour, mixed spice and cardamom into a bowl, stir in the sugar and make a well in the center. Whisk together the eggs, oil and the cooled fruit mixture. Pour into the well and mix to combine.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Serves 10

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