Parkin for Amy

This recipe is taken from The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen published by Yorkshire Television to accompany their series in the 70s and I had it as a wedding present for my first marriage in 1988.  It (like that marriage) has fallen to pieces and now has no cover and various stains and blemishes but it has really good recipes for all kinds of traditional British cookery plus some more exotic things like mayonnaise!  The book seems to be out of print but copies are available on amazon.  It’s for Amy

Here, without further ado, is the recipe:

Yorkshire Parkin

250g/9 oz of plain flour (white or wholewheat)

190g/7 oz brown or white sugar

100g/3 1/2 oz porridge oats

2 heaped tsp ground ginger

75g/3 oz of soft margarine or butter

50g/2 oz of lard (or lard 😉 )

190g/7 oz golden syrup

75g/3 oz black treacle*

1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda

a few drops of  (about a dessert spoon) vinegar – you could use lemon juice

150ml/ 1/4 pint of milk

*If you have no treacle use 275g/10 oz golden syrup.  Add 1 or 2 drops of gravy browning when you stir the mixture at point 5 in order to get the true parkin colour (note from me – this is the stuff in the bottle which is just burnt sugar and NOT gravy powder but if you are going to the supermarket to buy gravy browning you might as well pick up treacle instead!!!)

1.  Mix flour, sugar oats and ginger together in a bowl an make a well in the middle.

2.  Melt the fats in a pan.  Before they get too hot add the syrup and the treacle and let them melt a bit so that you have a nice liquid but do not heat to much and do not boil.

3.  Pour this mixture on to dry ingredients drop bicarbonate of soda into centre sprinkle vinegar onto soda and watch it fizz (!!!!)

4. Put the milk into the syrup pan, warm it a little to clean the syrup from the pan and then add to the bowl.

5.  Now stir it up well.  When mixed it should pour like a batter mixture.  Pour it into a large greased and floured roasting tin.

6.  Bake slightly above the middle of a moderate oven between gas 3 & 4, 335°F, 170°C for one hour.  Look at it after 15-20 minutes to see if the middle has lifted.  If so shake it to let it sink again, turn the tin around and allow to continue cooking.

7. Allow to cool in tin.  Cut into squares (it says quarters in the recipe but that seems a tad greedy).  Best if stored for 3 days before eating (I’ve never managed this bit – most I’ve got to is a day and a half and that was quite taxing enough).  Keeps well if stored in an air-tight container (please refer to the remarks I made earlier).

The parkin should be darker than the one pictured above which is a gentrified Channel 4 version.  A proper old-fashioned halloween or bonfire night treat.  Enjoy!

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