Guest chef

Kim Morphew

London-based food stylist and writer Kim Morphew has been contributing to Sainsbury's magazine since 2008. She is creator of the children's cookery book and baking range, The Kookey Chefs.

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Fig, apricot and pistachio Christmas cake

  • Serves 18-20
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Total time 5 hrs 30 mins, plus soaking and cooling
3.5/5 rating (75 votes)
Fig, apricot and pistachio Christmas cake
Fig, apricot and pistachio Christmas cake

step by step

  • 1For the soaked fruit, cut the figs, apricots and dates into small pieces about the same size as the cherries. Put them into a large bowl along with all the remaining fruit mix ingredients, then cover with clingfilm and leave to sit for about 2-3 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is plump and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • 2For the cake, preheat the oven to 140°C, fan 120°C, gas 1. Grease and double-line an 18cm, 9cm-deep round cake tin with baking paper, making sure the baking paper comes well above the rim. Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat with a whisk or electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • 3Add the pomegranate molasses, then gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir the pistachios into the soaked fruit. In another bowl, combine the flour, spices and ground almonds. Then add the fruit mix alternately with the flour mix into the bowl, stirring until well combined.
  • 4Spoon into the prepared tin – the mixture will come above the top of the tin. Level the top with the back of a spoon and tap the tin once on the work surface to burst any bubbles. Wrap a folded piece of brown parcel paper around the tin; tie securely with string. Bake in the oven for 4 hours 45 minutes-5 hours until dark golden brown and firm to the touch. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil after about 3 hours.
  • 5To check if the cake is cooked, put a thin skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean with a few moist crumbs, then the cake is cooked. If the skewer isn't clean, then return the cake to the oven for a further 15 minutes and check again. Leave the cake in the tin to go cold.
  • 6Remove the baking paper from the cold cake and wrap in a double layer of fresh baking paper, then a double layer of foil. Secure with an elastic band; store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
  • 7To feed your cake, unwrap and make small holes in the top and bottom with a thin skewer. Spoon 1 tablespoon rum over the top, then flip the cake and spoon 1 tablespoon over the bottom; rewrap and repeat every 3-4 weeks until you ice it. Don't feed the cake in the final week, so the surface has a chance to dry out before icing.
  • Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Get ahead

Make the cake up to 3 months ahead; wrap and store in an airtight container.

You will need

For the soaked fruit mix

  • 1 x 250g pack dried figs, trimmed
  • ½ x 250g pack dried apricots
  • ½ x 250g pack stoned dates
  • 1 x 125g pack Taste the Difference dried morello cherries
  • 1 x 500g pack mixed dried fruit
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 100ml golden rum, plus extra for feeding the cake

For the cake

  • 275g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 275g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 x 100g pack pistachio kernels
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (crush the seeds from 12 pods)
  • ¾ tsp ground cloves
  • 75g ground almonds

+ Nutritional Information