June is a very busy month in our household, with lots of birthdays and Father’s Day so it’s an ideal time to fill up a hamper and head out with family and friends. These recipes are perfect for a Father’s Day picnic (we usually go on a little fishing trip) and make an equally delicious spread, ideal for your D-Day celebrations. I’ll be making these for our village street party to serve with the children’s jam tarts and plenty of Pimms!


Great British Life: Strawberry and Basil TartStrawberry and Basil Tart (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Strawberry and Basil Tart recipe

A quintessentially English dessert which will sit perfectly centre stage at any gathering and is ideal for a D-Day picnic or street party. You can, of course, buy ready-made sweet short pastry.

Ingredients (serves 6)

For the pastry

125g unsalted butter, grated

200g plain flour

60g caster sugar

1 free-range egg yolk

For the filling

600ml double cream

200g golden caster sugar

Zest 3 lemons

75ml lemon juice

1 punnet strawberries

Handful basil leaves


Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan.

In a bowl, mix together the flour and sugar before crumbling in the grated butter and combining to make a breadcrumb texture. Add in the egg yolk to make a firm dough (if it doesn’t come together enough add a small splash of milk). Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough and line a greased tart tin (I have used a 12x35cm rectangular one) leaving a 1cm overhang. Blind bake the pastry for 25 minutes, remove the baking beans then bake for a further 5 minutes to crisp up the base. Allow to cool before trimming any extra pastry, I use a peeler.

In a saucepan, heat the cream and sugar and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Pour into the tart case and leave to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for 4 hours.

Decorate with halved strawberries and basil leaves and serve with single or clotted cream.


Great British Life: Cheese and Bacon Scones Cheese and Bacon Scones (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Cheese and Bacon Scones recipe

These moreish scones can be made ahead of time, but I must admit I do love them still warm from the oven slathered with butter. Before I make these, I grate the butter on a box grater and return to the fridge until needed.

Ingredients (makes 12)

10 rashers streaky bacon/pancetta

275g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp fine sea salt

100g unsalted butter, grated

150ml milk

50ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

1 egg, beaten

150g mature cheddar, grated

Handful fresh chives, thinly sliced


Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan.

Fry or grill the bacon until golden, allow to drain on kitchen paper and once cooled, chop into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the cold butter until you get a breadcrumb consistency. In another bowl, stir together the milk, oil and egg and add to the flour mixture and combine. Finally stir in the cheese, bacon pieces and chopped chives.

Greece a muffin tin and share the mixture out into 12 equal quantities, bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.


Great British Life: Pork, Apple, and Sage Sausage rolls Pork, Apple, and Sage Sausage rolls (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Pork, Apple, and Sage Sausage rolls recipe

According to my 7-year-old, my ‘world famous’ sausage rolls (akin to my world famous roast potatoes, but not as good as my equally world famous lasagne) cannot be beaten! I’m not too sure about that accolade but they are irresistibly delicious!

Ingredients (makes 8)

400g sausage meat or 6 pork sausages (I like to use Lincolnshire)

1 green apple, grated

½ leek, diced, softened in butter, and cooled

1 tsp dried sage

Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

8-10 fresh sage leaves to garnish


Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan

Squeeze the sausage meat from their cases into a large mixing bowl and add the apple, leek, dried sage, and season. Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts and roll each into a long sausage.

Cut the pastry in half lengthways and place a piece of sausage mixture in the middle of each piece of pastry, there should be enough mixture to go the length of each rectangle. Score along one long side of each pastry and brush with beaten egg. Pulling up from the other side, roll tightly with the seal on the bottom. Repeat to create 2 long rolls.

Cut each roll into 4 equal pieces, score and brush the tops with beaten egg, top each one with a sage leaf. Place each sausage roll on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on a rack before serving.


Great British Life: Picnic FoccaciaPicnic Foccacia (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Picnic Focaccia recipe

This is more of an assembly job than anything else, and the kids love to get involved. You can choose your favourite ingredients, but this is mine. I love to use focaccia (homemade or shop bought) but it works just as well with ciabatta.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large focaccia (enough for 4)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp pesto

½ bag baby spinach

250g jar roasted peppers

8 slices prosciutto

Handful basil

125g ball mozzarella or burrata

1 red onion, sliced and fried until soft

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt flakes


Mix together the oil, vinegar and pesto (you could use the oil from the jar of peppers) and season well. Slice the focaccia in half and toast until lightly golden.

Spread half of the dressing on one half of the bread then layer up your ingredients. Top with the remaining dressing and the other half of the bread. Press down on the sandwich to squash the layers together then wrap in baking paper. Place in the fridge for 2 hours with a heavy pan on top to weight it down. Slice when ready to serve.