Soak the dried fruit in the brandy or sherry until plump (overnight is good).
Grease a large deep dish.
Butter the slices of bread with the spread and cut into quarters.
Whisk the eggs and then whisk in the milk, caster sugar and vanilla paste/extract.
Dip each quarter slice of bread into the milk and with half the slices make a single overlapping layer in the base of the dish.
Sprinkle on half the drained dried fruit.
Make another layer of bread on top and sprinkle on the rest of the dried fruit tucking some in under the bread slices.
Pour on the rest of the milk mixture and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Bake on the bottom shelf of oven for 40 - 45 minutes until golden.