Cut the fruit into pieces and mix in a bowl with the cognac or juice. Leave to stand for an hour.
Butter and crumb a rectangular 2-litre bread tin. Preheat the oven to 175 °C.
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Add half of the flour, half of the fruit mixture and then the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
Pour into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for approx. 1 1/2 hours. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out.
Dust with icing sugar and serve the fruit cake in thin slices, preferably with a glass of sherry.
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