Charles Campion picks Mrs Asquith's cup-of-tea cake as one of his greatest recipes ever.

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Farmhouse Fare is a magnificent book-unflinchingly practical, with those ‘shorthand’ recipes that presume that the reader has a basic level of cooking skill. The cup-of-tea cake is a traditional boiled fruitcake, and following the recipe means a juicy and moist fruit cake every time. You can easily imagine busy farmers’ wives flicking through this small book for inspiration’

Cup-of-tea cake
Extract from Farmhouse Fare: Recipes From Country Housewives Collected by Farmers Weekly, published by Countrywise Books in 1973 (first published by Agricultural Press in 1935)

Ingredients
4oz butter
½lb mixed fruit (currants, sultanas, candied peel)
1 cup tea
½lb self-raising flower
4oz sugar
1tsp each of bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice
1 egg

Method
Melt butter in pan, add fruit and tea. Bring to boil and simmer for two minutes. Cool. Sieve dry ingredients, add boiled mixture and egg, mix well. Bake for 1¼ hours at 350˚F in a 7in tin.

From Mrs Asquith, Harrogate