Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Pear Parkin

I'm feeling slightly bereft this week. After 8 years, Dan Lepard has left The Guardian and I am not entirely sure what I shall do without him. I decided to bake something to mark the occasion.

The summer that has produced so many grapes for us has also produced a lot of pears, so I wanted to use some before the birds got them all. And the obvious partner for pears is ginger.
I made Dan's 100 year old parkin recipe, using the zest of a lime instead of half a lemon, and substituted chopped crystallised ginger (made from Dan's recipe) for the mixed peel. The other change I made was to lighten it up a bit, using white sugar instead of light brown and reversing the quantities for the treacle and golden syrup.

Then I simply spread the mixture over peeled, cored and quartered pears in a cake tin. The batter is thick and sticky, so it didn't spread easily, and it didn't actually cover the pears completely. I just trusted to the quantities of butter and sugars to make it all spread out in the oven.

Which it did. The batter expanded into all the gaps like that space invading foam stuff. But spicier. The cake itself is slightly chewy and pairs very nicely with the sweet, juicy but not strongly flavoured pears. It's a lovely taste of early autumn and a fitting tribute to Dan's columns.


11 comments:

Suelle said...

Wow - that looks tasty! It might be a good use for the rock hard pears from my neighbour's tree.

I think I'll have to have a tribute Dan Lepard bake too!

Faux Fuchsia said...

LUFF IT!!!!! x

Joanne said...

How sad about Dan Lepard! And how sweet of you to bake something to see him out. This parking looks delicious!

Foodycat said...

Suelle - an excellent use for them! Ours were mature but not soft and they baked perfectly because the parkin takes so long to cook.

FF - thank you!

Joanne - I know! He has other projects on but WHAT ABOUT MY SATURDAYS?

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

I don't think I've ever had parkin before, looks interesting and tasty!

Alexandra Stafford said...

I'll have to educate myself on Dan Lepard. Nice of you to honor his time at the Guardian with this pear parkin, something else I have never heard of but which looks absolutely scrumptious. Yum!

underthebluegumtree said...

Lovely looking parkin. I'm going to miss Dan terribly too. BTW I didn't have much luck with the cornmeal baps in his final column (too heavy) but the fried chicken he served with them is REALLY good.

Foodycat said...

Leaf - I don't think I had before I moved to the UK. It's a traditional Yorkshire dish, I believe.

Ali - he has changed my baking dramatically.

Bluegum - I've got the chicken bookmarked!

Barbara said...

I know who Dan Lepard is, but must confess I've never made any of his recipes.
You've come up with a gem! Your photos tell the whole story...YUM!

grace said...

never heard of this guy, but he seems to know his stuff, and so do you! :)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I've never heard of parkin before, but it sure looks good, and any kind of dessert filled with pears and ginger is a winner with me.

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