There are many variations on the making and baking of Parkin – the Yorkshire Cookery Book, published in 1917, for example, showed seventeen versions! However, this recipe gets somewhere near to how it was originally made – with oatmeal.
An early reference to oatmeal as a staple ingredient was at the West Riding Quarter Sessions of 1728, when Anne Whittaker was accused of stealing oatmeal to make Parkin.
The original recipe would have used a coarsely-ground oatmeal – and probably dripping, too – but this version spares you the dripping. And the oatmeal you are likely to use today will almost certainly be a more refined version of the type that poor old Annie pinched.
- 8 oz (225g) plain flour
- 8 oz (225g) medium oatmeal
- 4 oz (113g) brown sugar
- 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 oz (113g) butter
- 8 oz (225g) black treacle
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 5 fl oz (¼ pint ) milk
- Melt the sugar, butter and syrup over a low heat.
- Beat the egg and add to the syrup mix with some of the milk
- Sift the flour, oatmeal and ginger into a bowl and pour in the syrup mix.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the remaining milk and add to the rest of the mix.
- Stir well, then transfer the mixture to a greased flat baking tin, e.g. 11″ x 9″ x 2″ deep
- Bake until firm in a moderate oven (about 1 hour).
- Keep it in a tin for a week before eating – it becomes deliciously stickier by the day.
Source: Mary Hanson Moore (1980) A Yorkshire Cookbook published by David & Charles.
See also a parkin recipe without oatmeal at Parkin (version 2)