This spiced stollen from an old family recipe is a Christmas classic.
Pre-heat oven to 240°C, 475°F, Gas Mark 9.
Soak the raisins in the rum for 1 hour, or for best result overnight.
Combine the sugar and yeast in the milk and leave for 15 minutes. Place the flour in the mixing bowl, make a well in the middle. Mix the sugar with the Vanilla pod seeds, add to the flour, with the butter, egg and spices. Pour the yeasty milk into the middle of the flour. Mix together and knead for 5 minutes. Cover the dough and rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, for about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Add the soaked raisins, mixed peel and almonds to the dough and knead again until all the fruit is well combined with the dough. Turn dough onto a floured work surface, and roll out, a size of around 40cm x 30cm.
Knead your marzipan with a little icing sugar, then roll out to the size of 35cm-25cm, place on the rolled out dough. Roll the dough from the long side all the way across to make a stollen shape. Place stollen on a lined tray 40cm x 30cm. Rest again for 20 minutes. Bake on the middle shelf as you close the oven door reduce the temperature to 170°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for 45-55 minutes.
As soon as the stollen is removed from the oven brush generously with the melted butter to glaze and cover with icing sugar. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then repeat the glazing with the rest of the butter, cover again with icing sugar. Leave to cool completely, and dust with icing sugar one final time before slicing and serving.