2 cups whole, skin-on almonds
250 grams dried figs, thinly sliced
100 grams dried apricots, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 1⁄2 teaspoons mixed spice
good grinding of black pepper
1 cup plain flour
pinch of salt
1⁄2 cup honey
2 tablespoons brandy
ripe Brie, Camembert or a blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C. Grease a 6 cup capacity loaf tin and fully line with baking paper.
Spread the almonds out in a shallow tray and roast in the oven until golden. Watch carefully as they can become too dark very quickly. Cool and chop roughly.
Put the almonds, figs, apricots, cranberries, orange zest, mixed spice, black pepper, flour and salt in a large bowl and toss well to coat all the fruit in flour.
Combine the honey and brandy and heat until just warm. Tip onto the fruit mixture and mix well.
Spoon half the mixture into the tin and, using the back of a spoon, press into the tin. Repeat with the remaining mixture and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Cool. The loaf will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
To serve: Slice and serve with soft, ripe cheese. Makes 1 loaf.