Optional: if children won’t be eating this, soak the sultanas and raisins overnight in vodka, cognac or brandy.
Use a sieve to sift the flour into a big mixing bowl, then add the salt and butter and combine, before adding the sugar and yeast.
In a separate bowl or measuring jug, beat the egg, add the tepid milk and mix, then add this to the mixing bowl of flour, etc., and combine everything until you have a soft dough.
Dust flour onto your kitchen counter, transfer the dough, add the dried fruit, knead until well combined (about 3-5 minutes) and the dough is smooth, then form it into a ball.
Butter a large mixing bowl, transfer the ball of dough, cover it with a clean cotton tea towel, and leave it to rise for one hour.
Cut baking paper into rounds to fit in the bottoms of three 400 ml tin cans and to wrap within the interior of each can; the larger interior pieces of baking paper should be large enough so that the pieces poke out above the tin by about a third of the size of the can.
Using a pastry brush, butter the bottom of the tins, place the paper rounds on the base and butter the top of the round, then butter the larger interior pieces of baking paper.
Dust your kitchen counter with a little flour again, transfer the dough, knock back the dough, then form it into a ball again, place it back in the bowl, cover it once more, and leave it for half an hour.
Transfer the dough for the last time to the kitchen counter, lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough into one long cylindrical shaped piece, which you should cut into three equally-sized pieces or around 5cm in length.
Place each piece of dough into the tin cans that you earlier lined with buttered paper, cover the cans with the clean cotton tea towel, leave them to rise for around 20-30 minutes, and preheat your oven to 240°C.
When the dough has risen to 7-8cm up the tin can, transfer the cans to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or so (check them at 20 minutes) until you have pale golden-brown loaves. To check that they are completely baked, turn the can upside down and tap on its base with a knife; it should sound hollow.
Wearing oven mitts, gently shake each Easter cake out of the can into your hand, then leave them on a wire oven rack on the kitchen counter to cool.
Once the cakes are cool, prepare the icing: use a sieve to sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then slowly add the lemon juice, continually stirring until completely combined and thickened. If too thin, add a little more sugar and combine.
Transfer the cakes to a serving plate, spoon the icing onto the top of the cakes, allowing the icing to drip down the sides, then place pieces of dried fruit on the cake tops and sprinkle around the base. Serve with quality butter.