A taste of England: British Recipes

Amber Lock is backing British food with three great recipe ideas

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this month gives us all good excuse to roll out the bunting and indulge in some quintessentially British food, especially if you’re holding a themed lunch or dinner party or are participating in a local street party.

So be it fish and chips, bangers and mash, apple pie and custard, tea and cakes or scones, Pimms and cucumber sandwiches, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or even a full English breakfast, however you decide to celebrate the event have a wonderful time and even if it rains remember that’s just one of the joys of living in England and at least the food will taste good!


This apple tart is a take on a classic apple pie and custard. This version is made with a crisp vanilla sugar pastry and has a delicate elderflower flavoured pastry cream filling. For a Jubilee-themed finishing touch, scatter the top with a few edible jelly ‘diamonds’ and it would also be lovely served with a bergamot-scented Earl Grey tea ice cream!

For the pastry:

85g unsalted butter

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125g plain flour

40g icing sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

3 large apples (Bramleys work well)

4tbsp cornflour or plain flour

400ml whole milk

100ml elderflower cordial

6tbsp caster sugar

3 large egg yolks

To make the pastry: place the flour, icing sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until grainy. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract and process briefly to make a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, form into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll the pastry to 2-3mm thickness and use to line a 23 cm fluted flan tin. Prick the base lightly all over with a fork then cover with cling film and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until you are ready to fill it.

To make the pastry cream: mix 4tbs of sugar and flour together in a bowl then add the egg yolks and a little of the milk and stir to a smooth consistency. Add the rest of the milk and elderflower cordial and combine well. Pour into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil, stirring (a whisk is good for this) all the time. When at boiling point remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Make a light sugar syrup by bringing the remaining sugar and 450ml of water to a simmer. Peel, core and finely slice the apples and add the slices to the sugar syrup and simmer them briefly for 2-3 minutes (this cooks them slightly and also prevents browning).Then drain well and place on kitchen paper or a tea towel until needed.

When you are ready to assemble the tart pre-heat the oven to 180�C/gas mark 4. Pour the pastry cream over the base of the pastry case and arrange the apple slices on the top in a decorative pattern. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the apple slices are lightly golden and the filling is cooked through.

Allow to cool, then unmould from the tart tin before serving with cream, ice cream or just on its own.


One for the grown ups! I’ve made the jelly with tonic rather than lemonade so it’s not as sweet but adapt the mixture according to your taste. This also looks good served in wine or shot glasses and some pretty borage flowers would be lovely to garnish the top. Serves 2-4.

200ml Pimms

300ml tonic water

100ml water

125g caster sugar

5 gelatine leaves

Juice half a lemon

Strawberrries, cucumber, mint and orange to garnish

Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and simmer gently for a few minutes or until thickened slightly. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for five minutes or until completely softened, then squeeze out the excess water and stir into the sugar syrup. Mix until the gelatine has dissolved and then set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place some sliced strawberries, cucumber and mint leaves in the bottom of your serving dishes then fill with the Pimms jelly. Allow to set over night then garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of mint. 


This is a take on Coronation chicken but made with fresh mango rather than the typical dried apricots to give the dish a fresher taste. A little finely chopped chilli, spring onion and lime juice also liven up the flavours and the Greek yoghurt lightens the mayonnaise sauce.

I’ve also not mixed all the ingredients together to form a homogenous mass as is traditionally done with a Coronation chicken recipe. Rather I’ve combined the chicken with a herby lime-flavoured mayonnaise and then added a spiced mango chutney as a finishing sauce to drizzle over the top. However if you are transporting this dish anywhere (for a picnic for example) it makes sense to mix it all together!

2 large ripe mangoes

1 fresh red chilli

1 lime

1 little gem or cos lettuce

1 whole medium chicken (organic if possible)

Half onion

Half lemon

A few sprigs thyme

1tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp medium-hot curry powder

200g whole cashew nuts

200g good quality or home-made mayonnaise

200 fl oz Greek yoghurt

5tbsp mango chutney

1tbsp water

Handful of fresh coriander

Pre-heat the oven to 180�C/gas mark 4. Stuff the chicken cavity with the half onion, lemon and thyme sprigs then rub the skin with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for approximately one hr (or according to its size) until its golden and cooked right through, then leave to cool. When cool enough to handle shred the meat into thick strips, then cover and place in the fridge until needed.

Toast the cashew nuts in a dry frying pan until golden and then set aside. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces, roughly chop the coriander, zest and juice the lime and finely chop the spring onions. Finely chop the chilli and peel and slice the mango into large bite-sized pieces. Toss the chill with the mango to combine.

Place the curry powders in a small frying pan and gently toast until fragrant. Mix in the mango chutney and water and continue to heat until the mango chutney has thinned, adding a bit more water if necessary to form a drizzling consistency.

To assemble the dish, scatter the lettuce on a large serving platter and then the mango. In a large bowl combine the chicken with the mayonnaise, yoghurt, spring onion, coriander, lime juice and zest and gently mix together. Dollop this on the platter, scatter the toasted cashew nuts over the top and finally drizzle on the curry-spiced mango chutney. Serve with warm naan bread, rice or in the middle of a sandwich.

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