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If you have never tried adding pepper to a sweet dish before now, you will be pleasantly surprised by its effect. It adds unusual spiciness to what is otherwise a fairly standard fruitcake and is just one example of the huge variety of fruit cake recipes that come from this part of the world.



  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas 4.
  2. Grease the base of a deep 18 cm (7 inch) cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  3. Put the fruit, sugar, butter and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, then leave to cool slightly.
  5. Put the flour, spices and pepper in a bowl and gently stir in the fruit mixture, milk and the egg.
  6. Mix thoroughly without beating.
  7. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown.
  8. Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
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