Middle Eastern fruitcakes
Spread festive cheer from your kitchen with these beautiful Middle Eastern fruitcakes.
- Large pinch saffron strands
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 250g pitted dates, chopped
- 150g dried figs, chopped
- 150g dried cranberries
- 150g pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 150g blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 orange, rind finely grated, juiced
- 3 tablespoons rosewater or orange flower blossom
- 6 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely ground
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 160g (1 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed
- 125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 150g mixed glace fruit
- 25g pistachios
- 1 large orange, zested, juiced
- 125ml (1/2 cup) honey
Preheat oven to 150C/130C fan forced. Line twelve 80ml (1/3 cup) muffin pans with paper cases. Place saffron and water in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Place dates, fig, cranberries, pistachio and almond in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the saffron mixture, orange rind, juice, rosewater and cardamom. Set aside for 1 hour to develop the flavours.
Use electric beaters to beat eggs, sugar and oil together in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sift over flour and baking powder. Beat until combined. Stir in fruit mixture until well combined. Divide among prepared pans.
Bake for 45 minutes. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for a further 45 minutes or until firm and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Meanwhile, for the topping, combine glace fruit and pistachios in a bowl. Place zest, juice and honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Pour over fruit mixture. Stir until well combined.
Carefully spoon topping over the cakes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
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