Cherry and Almond Cake
Farming concerns and rural issues have been at the heart of the campaigning arm of the WI since its inception. One very effective tool for publicising rural issues was broadcast five evenings a week from 1951. BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, that ‘everyday story of country folk’, featured the WI from the start, with key characters such as the young Jill Archer attending meetings. BBC producers frequently contacted the NFWI for ideas and subject matter for storylines, and local recipes and cooking have always played an important role in The Archers, from competitive baking and preserving to Freda Fry’s pies and puddings served at the Bull, and now a new generation of Ambridge women has started to attend WI meetings. Here’s a cake from the Yorkshire WI recipe book Through Yorkshire’s Kitchen Door, that Jill is sure to have rustled up in her Aga…
- 125g butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 large free-range eggs
- pinch of salt
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and halved
- 2–3 tbsp milk, to mix
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/gas mark 4. Butter and base-line a deep 20cm round cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and light. Beat the eggs with the salt and gradually add to the creamed mixture.
2 Sift together the flour and baking powder and fold it into the creamed mixture along with the ground almonds, in two batches. Then fold in the cherries (toss them in a little flour first, to stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake), adding milk as required to make a soft mixture.
3 Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 1 hour until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer emerges from the centre of the cake clean and dry. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.