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How to Make Parkin

Some Yorkshire people claim Parkin belongs in the White Rose county. People from Lancashire disagree; "Yonners" will tell you Parkin comes from Red Rose country to the west of the mighty Pennine mountain chain. In the 15th Century the Wars of the Roses took the dispute to the field of honour.

Parkin distinguishes itself from plain old ginger cake by being made with oatmeal. It is traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes Night. And that provides the link to my hometown of London. This cockney boy doesn't care which side of the Pennines Parkin comes from as long as warring northerners keep their gunpowder north of the M25 ;-)

But seriously though, Parkin is welcome on my plate. It is easy to make, tasty, filling and economical. There is more than one way to make it, so if this recipe isn't the way you remember it - you may be from the wrong side of the Pennines!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal (I used Hamlyn's Oatmeal from Blighty's)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Lyles Black Treacle
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
Preparation
  • Thoroughly mix the flour, oatmeal, ginger, salt and baking powder in a large bowl
  • Gently heat the milk, treacle, butter and sugar in a saucepan until you have a smooth sauce
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes then stir in one well-beaten egg
  • Stir the sauce into the flour and oatmeal mixture until the texture is sticky and smooth
  • Pour the batter into a greased ovenproof baking dish and bake at 350F for about an hour
  • When cool, place in a cake tin with a lid and store for a day or two before eating (I don't know why but northerners recommend it!)
John's Notes
Delicious! Sticks to your teeth but it really is very, very good. This recipe was requested by Alison Hird who manages the excellent "Whats On Ontario" website at http://www.whatson.ca.

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