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Family favourite . . . Margaret Orr of Gore holds the recipe book where she wrote down the sultana cake recipe she won a Women's Division Federated Farmers, now known as Rural Women New Zealand competition with more than more than 40 years ago. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

A tried and true recipe from more than 40 years ago won first prize in the Gore Garden Club Harvest Show sultana cake competition last weekend.

The cake was baked by 90-year-old Margaret Orr, of Gore.

Mrs Orr said she could not remember the exact year she first baked the cake but it was for a Women’s Division Federated Farmers, now known as Rural Women New Zealand, competition day.

Members had to bake a sultana cake using the same recipe.

“It was in the East Gore hall and I remember all these cakes in a row along the wall.

“They said there was 14 of them and I won it,” Mrs Orr said.

She had always meant to enter the cake in the Gore A&P Show but never had.

However, when her daughter Janice was getting ready for the harvest show, Mrs Orr decided to enter too, for the first time.

She had made the cake many times.

“It was a good cake and I just stuck to it.

“It’s just always a nice size.”

Her nephew George Orr was very fond of the cake.

She was careful to line the tin with brown paper around the sides with buttered baking paper.

“I put a cardboard piece underneath the tin in the oven and, of course, that helps it from not browning too much too.”

The secret to baking the cake was a long, slow baking.

“I never have it too hot.”

After it had been baking for two hours she checked the cake.

“I sort of look at it and sometimes I take it out and listen to it.”

The cake was cooked “if it wasn’t sizzling”.

“I’ve got it down to a fine art.”

Mrs Orr did not go to secondary school but helped her parents on the farm.

One of her jobs was to do the baking each week.

“I’ve had a lifetime of baking.”