We took the best parts of fruitcake, dropped the stodginess and gave it a modern update in this good-looking bar.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
- 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup coarsely chopped glacé cherries
- 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3 tbsp water or rum
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- For base, preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly spray or oil bottom and sides of a 9×13-in. (3-L) baking dish. In a food processor, whirl flour with icing sugar until blended. Add butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Or, in a medium-size bowl, stir flour with icing sugar until mixed. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Press over bottom of pan. Bake in centre of oven until edges are lightly golden, from 20 to 25 min. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, prepare cherries and nuts. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir raisins with rum and orange peel. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high, 1 min. Stir and set aside to cool for 5 min. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in brown sugar, flour, corn syrup and vanilla. Stir in raisin mixture, including any liquid, then cherries and nuts. Pour over hot baked crust and spread evenly.
- Bake in centre of preheated 350F (180C) oven until filling is set and edges of base are deep golden, 25 to 30 min. Cool completely on a rack. Then cut into 2 in. (5 cm) squares. Squares will keep well tightly covered or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.