Remember, remember … Yorkshire Parkin

Photo credit: Meryl White

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why Yorkshire Parkin should ever be forgot!

When the trees are ablaze with fiery reds and golds, that’s the signal to bake Yorkshire Parkin. If you don’t know about this delectable treat, it’s a type of gingerbread, traditionally made with oats and treacle and eaten on Bonfire Night.

I’m not sure how we’ll celebrate Bonfire Night this year. For as long as I can remember it’s been a tradition to enjoy sparkling fireworks, roaring bonfires and burning an effigy of a ‘guy’. It all harks back to Yorkshire man, Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November 1605, which became famously known as the Gunpowder Plot.

But if we can’t celebrate in the usual way, that’s all the more reason to get out the baking tins and make Grandma Abson’s lip-smacking Yorkshire Parkin. She had a few tips to make perfect Parkin – such as leaving the mixture overnight to let the oatmeal soak into the treacle before putting in the oven.

But the real secret to perfection lies in the texture, which should be sticky and moist, so it’s very important not to let the melting butter, treacle/golden syrup and sugar boil. You can make it as spicy as you like by just adding more ginger to the dry mixture.

What you need

225g/8oz self-raising flour

450g/1lb medium oatmeal

2 tsps ginger

Pinch of salt

110g/4oz butter

450g/8 oz black treacle

(or 110g/4oz black treacle & 110g/4 oz golden syrup)

110g/4oz demerara sugar

1 egg beaten

150 ml/5 fl oz/¼ pint milk

Photo credit: Meryl White

Pre heat the oven to 300F, Mark 3, 150 C. Line a 20 cm/8 inch cake tin with baking paper.  Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a pan with the treacle/golden syrup and demerara sugar. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and add the egg and milk. Mix well to make sure it’s all combined. The mixture should be quite runny.  Pour into the tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.

Photo credit: Meryl White

Don’t be tempted to start eating it straightaway. If you leave it for a few days in a tight-fitting container, the flavour and stickiness will have time to develop. Mind you, when we were waiting for Grandma’s, we could only wait until it was just cool enough out of the oven – which is all the more reason to make two batches.

Did you know that ‘Parkin’ is a popular surname across Yorkshire and means ‘Peter’? Now that’s a good quiz question!

You can read more about Grandma Abson’s life, her passion for baking and recipes on Meryl’s blog. Or head over to @potsaway on Instagram to check out how Meryl and Patrick are back once again cooking together.

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