Here is one of those things that just doesn’t sound right. In fact, it sounds downright disgusting. But it is worth sharing. Because it sounds so disgusting. Apparently this was a favorite of Wallis Simpson, scandalous Duchess of Windsor, fellow cook book hoarder. I’m not sure she ever ate this, considering her lovely, svelte figure.
The following recipe is copied directly from Dr. Chase’s Recipe or Information for Everyone, 1866.
– A most delightful cake is made by the use of pork, which saves the expense of butter, eggs, and milk. It must be tasted to be appreciated; and another advantage of it is that you can make enough, some leisure day, to last the season through; for I have eaten it two months after it was baked, still nice and moist.
Fat, salt pork, entirely free of lean or rind, chopped so fine as to be almost like lard 1 lb.; pour boiling water upon it 1/2 pt.; raisins seeded and chopped 1 lb.; citron* shaved into shreds 1/2 lb.; sugar 2 cups; molasses 1 cup; saleratus** 1 teaspoon rubbed fine and put into the molasses. Mix these all together, and stir in sifted flour to make the consistence of common cake mixtures then stir in nutmeg and cloves finely ground 1 oz. each; cinnamon, also fine, 2 ozs.; be governed about the time of baking it by putting a sliver into it – when nothing adheres it is done. It should be baked slowly.
You can substitute other fruit in place of the raisins, if desired, using as much or as little as you please, or none at all, and still have a nice cake. In this respect you may call it the accommodation cake, as it accommodates itself to the wishes or circumstances of its lovers.
When pork will do all we here claim for it, who will longer contend that it is not fit to eat? Who?
I kid you not, this is how it is written in the book. It makes one chuckle with the absurdity of it all.
*Citron is a fruit, much like a lemon. Lemon is a perfect substitute whenever an old time recipe calls for citron.
**Saleratus is sodium bicarbonite – baking soda.