This family recipe ended up in my hands in a special way. I was on the train to London when Joanne came up to me to say that she loved my first book, Pride and Pudding, and that she wanted to send me her family recipe for gingerbread.
Joanne told me that she came from Cumbria in the north of England, where Grasmere gingerbread also originates, and where, historically, a lot of gingerbread is made. In our later conversations she told me that in the 1980s the recipe was mainly made with margarine because butter was too expensive. Butter was only used for cakes for special occasions, such as Christmas cake and Shortbread. When Joanne was a little girl, her mother won prizes with this gingerbread in baking competitions at their local village fair. The family recipe is from Joanne’s great aunt, Betty, and it’s a privilege to be able to share it with you.