Add all the dried fruit, spices, zest, brown sugar and brandy into a bowl and pour over 100g of hte melted butter. Mix well and cover and leave overnight for the fruit to macerate.

Chop the apples and pears into medium size chunks and place into a large frypan with the remaining butter and castor sugar. Cook for approx 10 minutes until the fruit has just started to soften. Pour off half of the liquid and place the remaining fruit into a bowl, cover and refrigerate over night.

Next day combine the macerated dried fruit and the apple and pear mixture. Lay out a piece of alfoil approx 40cm x 40cm on a baking tray and cover with a piece of baking paper the same size. Measure the short width of your pastry, approx 23cms and spoon the combined mixture into a log form this length. Pile the mixture evenly along the length, building it up to form a log shape. Use the baking paper and alfoil to carefully roll the paper around the log shape, keeping it as round and even as possible and secure ends. Place the covered log on the baking tray into the freezer and leave to become really cold and firm.

Preheat oven to 210C

Cover another baking tray with 2 sheets of baking paper and lay the entire sheet of pastry on top. Place in the fridge to make very cold. Once very cold, bring the baking tray out of the fridge and unroll the fruit log onto the pastry approx 10 cm from the end, across the short length. Use the top sheet of baking paper to carefully roll the pastry over and around the fruit log. Brush the open end with a little egg wash. Continue rolling and seal the pastry roll on the egg washed edge. Remove that top layer of baking paper now and discard. Push the excess pastry at either end in over the open ends. Place the baking tray with sealed fruit roll into the fridge again for 20 mins until really cold. 

When cold and solid, remove from fridge and score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife in even slices, being careful not to cut through the pastry. Brush the top and sides of the pastry with the remaining egg wash.

Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven and cook until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through, approx 30 mins.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool. Dust the top of the strudel with icing sugar.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and toasted flaked almonds.