Mary Brown’s traditional Congleton gingerbread recipe is to enjoy a revival after many years’ absence.
Thanks to the kindness of the Brown family, the recipe, which has remained a secret since it was gifted to Mary Brown by Maskery’s Bakery on Swan Bank, has now been entrusted to Ruth Pointon, head cook at the Old Saw Mill, to recreate the original gingerbread.
Passed down through four generations of the Brown family, this is the first time the recipe has been shared to anyone other than a family member.
Peter Ranson, a director of the Old Saw Mill, said: “We are honoured and grateful to be entrusted with making this gingerbread using the family’s recipe, and will continue to look after it and keep it secret.
“The gingerbread will be on sale in the Old Saw Mill café and gift boxes will be available to take away to give to family and friends – an excellent Christmas present to go with a bottle of our apple juice. I am sure many of our older residents will remember buying and enjoying it in the past.”
Back in the day, the delicious gingerbread was taken as far afield as London to be sold by members of the Brown family. Mary Brown continued to bake her gingerbread and sell it to raise money for Cancer Research. She made her final batch at the grand old age of 95. She died in 2018.
On behalf of the family, Cath Brown said: “What a wonderful legacy this is for mum to have her gingerbread being baked once again in Congleton, with the sales being used to benefit the local community through the Old Saw Mill.
“Every year, on her birthday we take gingerbread to mum’s grave and eat it in her memory.”