Finely chop the candied peel, and quarter the glacé cherries. Finely grate the orange zest.
Place all of the dried fruit into a bowl with the orange zest. Squeeze the orange juice into a pan, add the brandy or rum and heat to just below boiling point, then pour it over the dried fruit. Mix well, then set aside for 1 to 2 hours to allow it to plump up.
Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar (roughly ¼ of a teaspoon).
Spoon the yeast into the bowl of a free-standing mixer, then add the sugar.
In a pan, heat the milk until just warm, add to the yeast and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until the yeast has formed a thick, foamy crust on the milk.
Add the flour, spices and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Using a dough hook, combine the butter, egg and vanilla, then mix for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
Roughly chop the almonds and pistachios.
Pour away about half the liquid from the soaked fruit, then add the fruit and remaining liquid to the dough, along with the nuts. Mix again.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for 1 minute. Shape the dough into an oval shape, about A4 size.
Roll the marzipan into a neat log, about 4cm shorter than the length
of the dough, and place in the middle of the oval.
Brush one long edge of the dough with milk and fold it over, completely encasing the marzipan, and press the edges together to seal.
Carefully lift the dough onto the baking sheet, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
Remove the clingfilm, then bake the stollen for 30 minutes, or until golden, risen and the underside sounds slightly hollow when tapped.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before dredging with icing sugar to serve.
Not to be confused with fast-action dried yeast, which comes in sachets, dried active yeast comes in a tub. Unlike fast-action, it needs to be activated with warm liquid and sugar before adding to the mixture.