Seaside Lights and Pineapple Cake: an excerpt from WI Kitchen Stories

posted by Jessica February 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm Baking, Profile, Recipe No comments , , , , , , , , ,

If each WI could be described as possessing its own unique tapestry made up of myriad personalities, backgrounds, skills and interests, then WeyBay Women’s Institute in Weymouth, Dorset, sits in the realms of the technicolour dreamcoat WI. Nothing says it more than the life-size ice-cream cone that greets us one step in to the President’s glitzy regency house. Just a stone’s throw away from Weymouth’s seaside prom, Sandra Jones’ living room is like a homage to the great British seaside; walls are decked with retro neon lights sourced from local antiques markets, splashes of hot pink surround and outside there’s the familiar ‘caw’ of hovering seagulls, likely to be eyeing up someone’s bag of chips.

Though Sandra has now stepped down as President, her role as founder of this seaside-based WI has played a crucial part in its success. ‘We’re a lively WI and signed up 48 members on our opening night,’ she explains. ‘Since then, we’ve had
to move pubs to get more room and cap membership at 100, with dozens more on the waiting list.’ Her enthusiasm for life is infectious, like that of her fellow members. Today, she’s invited a merry band of ‘Weybabes’ along to her house who are here to share with us their communal WI recipe – Pineapple Fruit Cake. The moist and zesty little number is an all-in-one method devised by WeyBay WI member Judith Townsend. It powers the local walking group – a kind of spin off from WI meetings that takes place around Dorset every month. The hike’s proviso; whoever leads the walk, must make the cake. ‘This boil and bake recipe is easy, tasty, and something we now all make!’ says Sandra, as she pours everyone some fizz (pink, naturally). We charge our glasses.

Watch this space on where to find more Kitchen Story visits throughout the course of this year.


Pineapple Fruit Cake

4oz margarine
8oz granulated sugar
3/4lb mixed fruit
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tin (13oz) crushed pineapple
8ozs self raising flour
2 beaten eggs
a pinch of salt

1. Set the oven to 170°C/325°F
2. Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin
3. In a saucepan add the margarine, sugar, mixed fruit, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and crushed pineapple.
4. Warm slowly and then boil for 3 minutes.
5. Cool slightly before adding self-raising flour, eggs and salt.
6. Mix well and pour into the cake tin.
7. Bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours until golden toppedsandra_jones-0365ks


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