Delicious homely parkin is given a dinner party makeover with the addition of poached pears and ice cream.
- For the parkin
- 2 tbsp
- ½ tsp ground
- ½ tsp
- 75g/3oz oat flakes
- 110g/4oz unsalted
butter, plus extra for greasing
- 110g/4oz soft
- 1 free-range
- 2 tsp whole
- For the poached pear
- 4 firm
pears, peeled, cored and halved
- 500ml/18fl oz
- freshly grated
lemon, peel only
- 4 firm
- To serve
For the parkin, preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1 and butter a 20cm/8in square cake tin.
Sieve the flour, a pinch of salt, the ginger, nutmeg and mixed spice together into a large bowl. Mix in the oat flakes.
Put the syrup, treacle, butter and sugar into a small saucepan and melt over a gentle heat – bring up to a simmer but do not boil. When the butter and sugar have melted, pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Mix in the beaten egg and milk to create a soft, almost pouring consistency batter.
Pour into the buttered tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until firm in the centre.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out and cutting into squares.
For the poached pear, place all the ingredients into a small saucepan so that the pears are all submerged in the liquid.
Top with a piece of greaseproof paper cut into a circle to help keep the pears submerged.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until just tender – check with the tip of a knife to see if tender, if not, return to the heat and cook for another five minutes then check again.
Remove the pears and set aside. Return the pan to the heat, bring to a boil and reduce the poaching liquor by half, or until it reaches a light syrup.
To serve, place a square of parkin on each plate with a pear alongside, then spoon over the syrup. Finish with a scoop of ice cream.
Top recipe tip
Warm the tins of syrup and treacle in a bowl of hot water to loosen the syrup and make it easier to measure the correct amount.