Husband looked at the weather forecast yesterday evening and saw that today was going to be the last sunny and dry day for quite some time. So he took the day off. The good news is that we now have a couple of the veg patches dug over reading for planting later in the Spring. The other news is that the cake tin is empty – again!

This coincided with me checking out the remains of my veg bag and finding that I had the innards of a savoy cabbage plus a large parsnip left. The cabbage is easy – that’s going in a risotto with some smoked fish tomorrow, which meant that the parsnip was going to get pretty lonely unless........

Parsnip and fruit loaf

100g mixed dried fruit
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp honey 
2 medium eggs 
85ml sunflower oil  
100g light muscovado sugar 
115g self-raising flour 
1/4 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice 
115g parsnips, grated (I just peeled mine, chopped it into chunks and blitzed it in the minichopper)

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/160 deg F

Line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper

Put the dried fruit in a pan with the orange juice and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the juice has been absorbed

Put the eggs, oil and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until creamy.

Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, ground ginger and mixed spice

Fold the sifted flour mixture into the mix with the parsnips and the dried fruit mixture.

Spoon into the tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool.

You could always ice it – but it’s getting late and I need the cake to cool down, so somehow I reckon we’ll go without!

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