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Parkin Recipes from our All in Good Taste event

Date: 1 February 2018

We're delighted to publish Tess Baxter's recipes from the event we held in October 2017. Tess baked each of these for us to taste - all were delicious but if memory serves the popular vote went to Spice Parkin - the 'unusual' one without ginger!

‘Older’ Parkin

320g/11oz medium oatmeal, 260g/9½ oz plain flour, 150g/5 oz butter, 150g/5oz soft brown sugar, 120g/4oz black treacle, 120g/4oz golden syrup, 250ml/9 fl oz milk, 3 tsp ginger, 1 tsp bicarb soda.
Mix oatmeal, flour and ginger. Put the butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a pan and stir while gently heating until butter melts. Mix soda into milk. Pour butter mix and milk into dry ingredients, and mix well into a thick batter. Pour into a greased and lined deep baking tin about 18x25cm, 7”x10”. Bake for about 1¼ hours at gas mark 2, 150°C/300°F. It should be starting to shrink from the sides and a cocktail stick pushed into the centre should come out clean. The cake will normally sink in the centre while cooling. Store for a few days before eating.

Based on recipes by E. Pinnington and Mrs. Eastwood of Rawtenstall, 1916, but typical of era

Sponge Parkin

275g/10oz plain flour, 85g/3oz butter, 110g/4oz golden syrup, 110g/4oz black treacle, 60g/2oz soft brown sugar, 1 egg beaten with 2tbs milk, 1 tsp bicarb soda, 1tsp ginger, ¼ tsp mixed spice.
Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl. Put butter, syrup, treacle and sugar in a pan. Warm gently until butter melts, then beat into dry ingredients, then beat in egg and milk. Put into a greased and lined 18 x 25cm / 10”x7” tin. Bake at gas mark 4, 180°C/350°F for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. (Was slightly overcooked in this time, try less) Keep for a few days before eating.

Based on recipes from Rawtenstall. There’s more work to be done on the similarities and differences between
sponge parkin, gingerbread, sticky bread and their ilk.

‘Modern’ Parkin

225g/8oz self-raising flour, 225g/8oz medium oatmeal, 225g/8oz butter, 225g/8oz light soft brown sugar, 110g/4oz treacle, 110g/4oz golden syrup, 150ml/¼ pt milk, 2 eggs, 4 tsp ginger.
Sieve together dry ingredients. Melt butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a pan and mix with dry ingredients. Beat eggs with milk and stir in. Pour into a greased and lined 25 x 18cm / 10”x7” tin. Bake 1 hour, gas mark 3, 170°C/325°F. Cool in tin, and don’t worry if it sinks. Keep a few days before eating. The oatmeal will soften and the flavours will develop and mature.

Combined ‘typical’ recipe

(Spice) Parkin

7oz/200g flour, 3oz/85g butter or lard, 4 oz/110g oatmeal (medium), 2oz/55g raw sugar, ½oz/15g mixed spice, a pinch nutmeg, 6oz/170g syrup, ½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda, 1 teaspoon milk.
Rub the butter into flour, add oatmeal, sugar, and spice. Pour in the hot syrup and add bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the milk. Put in a greased tin [lined 2lb loaf tin], allowing space for the mixture to rise. Bake about 30 to 45 minutes in a slow oven [gas mark 2, 150°C/300°F].

Mrs. M. Phillips of St Helens, 1936. Unusual.

Tess Baxter, 2017



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