Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line
2 baking sheets with baking paper. Put the
flour, baking powder, spice and sugar in a large
bowl, then mix well. Stir in the eggs and zest
until the mixture starts forming clumps, then
bring the dough together with your hands – it
will seem dry at first but keep kneading until no
floury patches remain. Add the fruit and nuts,
then work them in until evenly distributed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured
surface and divide into 4 pieces. With lightly
floured hands, roll each piece into a sausage
about 30cm long. Place 2 on each tray, well
spaced apart. Bake for 25-30 mins until the
dough has risen and spread and feels firm.
It should still look pale. Remove from the
oven, transfer to a wire rack for a few mins
until cool enough to handle, then turn down
the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1.
Using a bread knife, cut into slices about 1cm
thick on the diagonal, then lay the slices flat on
the baking sheets. The biscuits can be cooled
and frozen flat on the sheet at this point, then
bagged and frozen for up to 2 months. Bake
for another 15 mins (20 mins if from frozen),
turn over, then bake again for another 15 mins
until dry and golden. Tip onto a wire rack to
cool completely, then store in an airtight tin
for up to one month, or pack into boxes or
cellophane bags if giving as gifts straightaway.