It may be an outdated notion, but when we think of the Women’s Institute we tend to associate its members with homemade cakes and other treats.
Whether that is true or not today, members have contributed to a recipe book, The Women’s Institute Vintage Teatime, compiled by Jessica Simmons.
Jessica, who grew up in Lincolnshire and has fond memories of baking with her grandma, has a fascination with the origins of traditional and regional recipes, many discovered in the archives of the Women’s Institute.
Within the book is a typically Lincolnshire recipe, Lincolnshire Plum Bun – the old English word plum used here for mixed fruit.
You will need
150g (5½oz) butter, or softened margarine
300g (10½oz) light muscavado sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp rum (optional)
450g (1lb) self-raising flour
1 tspn mixed spice
250g (9oz) currants
250g (9oz) sultanas
40g (1½oz) chopped mixed peel
40g (1½oz) glace cherries
150ml (15fl oz) milk, or cold tea
Preheat oven to 1500C/300 0F/Gas Mark 2
Grease two 900g (2lb) loaf tins and line with non-stick baking parchment or greased greaseproof paper.
Cream the butter or margarine and sugar together and mix in the egg and rum, if using.
Fold in the flour and then the remaining ingredients.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 75-90 minutes.
They are done when they are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
These cakes will keep for up to a fortnight in an airtight tin.
Now prepare to enjoy some vintage tea times – 1950s clothing not compulsory but floral china would be perfect!