This is the cake recipe that my family has used as our Christmas cake ever since I can remember; it's easy to make and not as rich or heavy as some traditional fruit-cakes. The recipe is taken from a vegetarian cookbook, and can easily be made vegan simply by using vegan margarine.
Note: I usually just use 1 lb 4 oz. of mixed fruit (plus 2 oz. glacé cherries -- you can never have too many glacé cherries!) instead of measuring out the separate dried fruits!
Grease tin and line with greaseproof paper to come an inch above sides of tine. Brush paper with melted fat.
Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Rub in margarine, then mix in brown sugar. Mix all fruit and grated lemon rind together, and stir into the mixture. Make a hollow in the centre of the mixture, pour in the water, and stir in lightly. Warm 2 tbsp. of water slightly and pour over the bicarbonate of soda, then stir it thoroughly into the mixture (without actually beating).
Turn mixture into prepared tin. Bake cake in moderate oven, about 350°F (180°C) for an hour, then reduce heat to 325°F (160°C) for a further hour or until the cake is cooked.
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