It’s a stormy Saturday morning , the fire’s crackling and glowing in the wood burner at Tythebarn House B&B, the leaves on the Russ have turned the most glorious autumn colours, the clocks have turned back and it’s time to bake Yorkshire Parkin.
There’s something comforting about the rhythm of recipes through the seasons, and this one, reminiscent of bonfire night as a child, fits with November. We had a family bakery, so it was Dad who came home from work with the soft and sticky Parkin for tucking into after hot dogs around the bonfire.
This year mine has three days to mature before the 5th, when we wrap up warm, walk down to The Smithy Inn for the village display, then back to feast on Cake! The slightly crisp top turns sticky and soft and the spices mellow and combine with treacle to give that unforgettable ‘bonfire night’ flavour.
The recipes come in many variations. Some, like mine, with nutmeg and mixed spice as well as ginger, and ‘more or less’ combinations of flour and oatmeal. The zest of 1 orange would add an extra twist, for the less traditional out there! These ingredients are always in my cupboard, so on a dark and stormy day like today, there’s no need to face the elements before baking begins. Read our ‘Porridge’, blog and you will understand why pinhead oatmeal is a store cupboard staple at Tythebarn House. It’s not always easy to find, but Booths will come to the rescue as well as the wholefood shop in Milnthorpe.
So let the baking commence. That does sound a little like The Great British bake Off, but I can assure you that this isn’t tricky, but very sticky!
250 g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
150 g pinhead oatmeal
100 g black treacle or molasses
100 g golden syrup
100 g soft brown sugar
100 g butter
200 ml milk
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 . Line a 9″ / 22 cm square baking tin with parchment paper. The square Pampered Chef stoneware dish is ideal, and even better, you don’t have to line it! Sift together the self-raising flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in to a large mixing bowl. Stir the oatmeal in to the flour. Melt the sugar, butter, treacle and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat. Allow to cool a little before adding the milk and beaten eggs. Pour the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray. Bake for 60 minutes until an even brown colour and shrunk away slightly from the side of the tin. Allow to cool, before wrapping in cling film and leaving to mature for 3 to 5 days.
And yes, if you are wondering, guests do get to tuck in to too! Instead of scones and jam to great you, there will be Yorkshire Parkin, until it’s all gone and the season comes around again.
Autumn is a glorious time of year to visit our beautiful area. With Arnside & Silverdale AONB, Morcambe Bay, The Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales all within easy reach. You are sure to be well looked after and well fed here at Tythebarn House B&B.
Images: Copyright Diana Brown
Take a look at more of Vic and Diana’s Photography at Street and Eat.
There’s so much to see and explore around this area. The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Arnside & Silverdale AONB and wildlife haven of the Morecambe Bay area are all within easy reach.
For more inspiring images: vimeo by 2020VISION “Morecambe Bay… a wild place…a big place …a place of infinite skies and endless colour…”