Apple Parkin

comments: 88


The apples were absolutely beautiful. I think I had a Fuji, a Gala, and a Braeburn. They were hard and crisp and so sweet. The kitchen smelled of apple sweetness. I had a recipe from the October issue of British Country Living for something called "apple parkin," which I'd never heard of before.


Don't you love that someone invented the apple peeler? One of the most fun kitchen gadgets ever.


The apple parkin has a sort of crumble crust with butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and oatmeal on the bottom, covered with a layer of chopped apple, topped with the crust mixture mixed into a thick batter with a bit of milk. The original recipe was written in metric, but I found a web site that converts metric measurements of specific ingredients into standard measurements. I didn't have self-rising flour so I looked up a substitute ratio for adding baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour and used that.


My margin of error was getting rather large. Let that be a warning to you.


It wasn't to me. I happily topped it with cinnamon sugar and baked it for as long as the recipe said (30 minutes). The center was still completely raw, though the edges were done. Ruh-roh. I put it back in for ten minutes: still raw. Another ten: still raw. Another five: still raw, and now the edges and the bottom layer were rock hard. I took it out, sliced a piece, and worriedly drizzled it with a bit of cream, hoping for the best.


It sort of tasted like a clod of dirt from an apple orchard. Apparently I did not read the line at the top of the metric conversion web site that literally and very obviously says, "These conversions only work with U.S. recipes. If you try to convert a British recipe using these instructions it may flop." And that's when I said, for the seventeenth or eighteenth time in my life, "Self, you should've made the pie!!!"

I picked the apples out and ate them. Three apples is three apples, no matter where.


What a bummer! It still looks delicious. Too bad it didn't turn out. I love me some crumble crust.

How can even your missteps take on so much dear charm? Thank you for sharing the bad, the good, the most-times-tasty... in the end it all comes out so nice.

Oh, such promise. That bottom crust had me thinking it was going to be better than the pie. That sour cream apple pie is SOOOO damn good. And I am not a pie fan, to be honest. Made two last year, wolfed them down. Will do it again this year.

Nancy Confer says: November 02, 2009 at 08:18 AM

Sorry it did not work, but enjoyed your story. My family loves that sour cream apple pie and they voted it in a one of our traditional family pies each Thanksgiving. Thanks.

oh dear :( being british and living in Mexico, I know how difficult it can be to convert measurements. I suppose my British instinct helps me along when I have to make a British recipe using cups :)We would have just covered it in custard, the perfect way to disguise any baking disasters.

apples is apples anyway you cook em' and i loves em' any way you cook em'
: D

What a shame it didn't turn out, it was looking really good. I love Braeburn apples, and definitely need to get an apple peeler.

"Ruh-roh"--that cracked me up...You could have told us it was the most delicious tasting apple dessert of your life, and judging by the beautiful pictures we wouldn't have known any different. But thank you for showing your humanity....And now I want an apple gadget of my own to play house with.

Oh, misadventures in cooking. I've had so many of those. :)

Get a kitchen scale. You will be able to use recipes from British cookbooks and magazines with magical ease.

Aptly warned... I saw this post and said ohhh I am going to make that! I have the magazine! I have a NEW kitchen that hasn't been baked in yet... I haven't made one apple pie this season (kitchen remodel) then I read the last bit. Thank you for the warning -- I've been afraid of the recipes in the British CL and I guess for a good reason!! Still love the pics. xox

Oh no! That's so irritating that you have British recipes you can't use. I often had the same problem with American recipes, but now the Hummingbird Bakery have solved my problems by publishing a baking book of American cake and pie recipes with metric measurements. Hurrah!

Have you seen the recipe for John Derian's recipe for blackberry apple cake in the September issue of M.S. Living? Definely a winner. I have made it a couple of times to rave reviews.

I have the very same apple peeler...and used it yesterday to make a crisp. I must be doing something very wrong...the thing stops peeling and the apple gets all wonky about half way through and I end up finishing with a paring knife. Not good.

On a happier note, I am loving the 'Walk in the Woods' felt ornaments! I finished the tree and deer and am nearly done with the cottage. They are lots of fun to do and I am already looking forward to next years kit!



I love your apple pie recipe! I plan on making one tomorrow night as a 'thank you' present for two of my friends. Its always such a comfort after baking disasters, especially British baking disasters.

That is totally something I would do. Great pictures, tho!

At least it looks good?

Love me my apple peeler/corer, too. I just pulled it out last weekend for the first time this year to make a pie, and whoooya it gets me every time. I squealed like a schoolgirl when I took off the first apple and it just dangled in its little corkscrewie way. The things that get me excited...

That was priceless, looking at your wonderful pictures we would never know that this recipe flopped.

I have a similar looking apple peeler, but my tool also cores and slices. It might possibly be the same tool but I don't know how to shut off the corer and slicer part.

Now I have to look up the sour cream apple pie recipe.

You are so funny, Girl..."clod of dirt from an apple orchard" funny. It sure looked pretty, but as Grandma used to say "Pretty is as pretty does". Thanks for the laugh.

If only my kitchen disasters could be sooooo beautiful!

Great description of the taste. Mmmm...dirt clod. The pie recipe looks fabulous, though.

Also, I love your banner. So cute.

sure looks pretty! I would have eaten it!

This looks soooo good:)

Your apple pie is the best ever, I've making it this fall, every two weeks or so, and it's a huge hit. I even made it with half pears a few weeks back- delicious! Thanks for the amazing recipe. It's our second year on it now and we love it!!!!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at