1.Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line a 21 x 10cm (base measurement) loaf pan with baking paper, extending paper at long sides for handles.
2.Combine sugar, dates, apricots, butter and bicarbonate of soda in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water; cook and stir over moderate heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
3.Add flour and egg to date mixture; stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth surface.
4.Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean. Remove from oven. Stand in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cut into slices. Serve with butter.