Gingerbread Parkin with Vanilla Apple Sauce

9 Nov

The Washer Up has been going on about how wonderful Parkin is for ever. It’s a northern thing you see. As in, from the north of England, specifically the north-west. Yorkshire and Lancashire if you want to be precise. And they will want it to be precise. I am sure there will be comments about its origin and claims that it is definitely from Yorkshire or undenialbly from Lancashire.  I’m a soft southerner so I couldn’t give a “monkey’s” as they say down south.

So when I saw this recipe for it on one of my favourite food blogs, Kellie’s Food to Glow, this week I was desperate to give it a try. It’s traditionally served on Bonfire night – November 5th, which also happens to be our friend, Jeannes birthday. There was my excuse, as if I needed one. It was enough just to see the smile on his face. Honestly.

The Vanilla Apple Sauce that Kellie serves it with is genius. It’s like a vegan custard, a thick vanilla-y custardy apple sauce that we served warm with the hot slices of gingerbread parkin. And a sneaky scoop of vanilla ice cream if you must know. Well it was a birthday dessert.

Parkin is traditionally served cold and spread with a little butter according to The Washer Up. Whichever way it is delicious but you have to leave it wrapped up to mature for at least 3 days before you eat it.  So be patient and organised for a change because the stickiness you get is really worth the wait.

I deviated from Kellie’s recipe slightly by using half coconut oil (not very northern at all!) and half dairy-free margarine because I didn’t have enough margarine. I also used half honey because I didn’t have enough golden syrup and used wholemeal spelt flour instead of plain. It’s a wonder that I managed get anywhere near the original really but this is obviously a very forgiving recipe. No complaints from this end!!

Gingerbread Parkin Recipe

Enough for a 10″ loaf tin or an 8″ square baking tin. Adapted from Food to Glow

  • 100 g butter or dairy free margarine (I used 50g coconut oil/50g marg)
  • 100 g black treacle/molasses/miel de cana
  • 200 g golden syrup/agave syrup (I used 100g syrup/100g honey)
  • 75 g palm sugar/dark brown sugar
  • 200 g flour sieved with 2 1/4 tsp baking powder & 1/4 tsp salt (I used wholemeal spelt flour)
  • 100 g medium oatmeal (I blended my normal oats to finer powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 10 pieces/cubes crystallised ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp oat milk (or other milk)

Preheat the oven to 140C. Oil and completely line your baking/loaf tin with baking paper.

In a large heavy pan, melt the butter (or replacements), treacle, syrup and sugar over a low-ish  heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the melted buttery syrup, stirring together well. Beat together the eggs and milk and pour this in too. Fold all of this through until well incorporated and pour the whole lot into your lined tin.

Bake for 90 minutes until a deep golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Then leave it to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

When cool, wrap it up in its baking parchment, then in two layers of foil and leave it in a cool dry place for at least 3 days but up to a week.

Good luck with that, I managed 2 1/2 days but it really does get better and stickier and more moist the longer you leave it wrapped up so don’t eat it straight away. It won’t be the same!!

Vanilla Apple Sauce Recipe

Vegan, gluten-free.

  • 500 g apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 100 ml water
  • 4 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter/margarine

Put the apples, water, syrup/honey and vanilla in a pan and cook gently for about 15 mins until the apples are soft then stir in the butter. You can use it as it is, if you like it chunky. Mash it up a bit more or blend it to give it a smoother creamier consistency. Taste and add more honey, vanilla or a squeeze of lemon juice to tart it up a bit. Serve it warm, or room temperature, with a slice of the parkin.

Have a Lovely Weekend!!

17 Responses to “Gingerbread Parkin with Vanilla Apple Sauce”

  1. kellieanderson November 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    I feel proper honoured to have you use my recipes here! Your images are SO lush and I like your continental tweaks too. But best of all I’m chuffed to bits (very Northern!) that the Washer Up approved. Result!

  2. canalcook November 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    This looks lovely. I had never heard of Parkin before this week and now this is the second recipe I’ve seen. I think it’s a sign that I will have to try it.

  3. frugalfeeding November 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Vanilla apple sauce sounds really, really good! I’m also very much impressed by the parkin… parkin is good… really good.

  4. margaret21 November 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    You’re so right that you have to wait before digging into that parkin! Good idea to grind oats. I can’t find oatmeal in France either. Apple sauce sounds a great addition. Parkin with butter? This Yorkshire lass has never heard of that, but worth a try.

    • Natalie Ward November 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      The Washer Up is a Lancashire lad so maybe it’s a Preston thing!! 😉

  5. narf77 November 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    I just had one of “those” moments when I opened up this post and greeted my new day with the promise of something incredibly memorable. I can tell, just by looking at this recipe, that this is going to be something that I savour each delicious mouthful and that will take me to a place where my long dead grandma made her own traditional parkin and we shared it after waiting a week for it to develop its real flavour. I don’t think we know how much we can make a difference when we share our thoughts, our feelings and our recipes in a blog…you certainly gave me my times worth today 🙂

    • Natalie Ward November 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks so much for this comment, I’m so glad the recipe reminded you of times spent with your late Grandma. It makes it all worthwhile, I’m beaming!! 😉

      • narf77 November 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

        So am I! That parkin looks amazing and I get to make it 🙂 Thank YOU for that precious moment and for this scrumptious recipe 🙂

  6. Conor Bofin November 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Another fantastic post. I have never heard of the parkin. When I get to work on Monday I will quiz our north of England representative on it.

  7. Enchanted Seashells November 10, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    My DIL’s from the UK, I’ll try this when they come for Thanksgiving. I never heard of parkin but it sounds delicious

  8. Debra November 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I can’t wait to show off some Parkin on Thanksgiving weekend ! No one will have heard of it and I’ll appear to be an exotic gourmet chef. (If I don’t goof it it up that is) Thank you!

    • Natalie Ward November 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      I love the idea of this northern English speciality being served at Thanksgiving. That’s the power of blogging!! I hope youall enjoy it!

  9. Allison November 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    That vanilla applesauce looks more like frosting than apples, but I bet it tastes delicious! : )

  10. Three Well Beings November 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    I was not familiar with the term “Parkin,” but everything about this dish hits home. I would love to make it for our Thanksgiving. I’ll have to do a trial run first, which means NOW! I’m sure we could manage to enjoy two! 🙂

  11. R Taylor November 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I really enjoyed your blog! Your recipes are simply amazing. Thanks for sharing and tweaking the recipes to fit my taste!


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