English Food Recipes

Roast dinner

I want to show you how to cook some traditional English food recipes. They all make use of locally-produced ingredients and are absolutely delicious!

English food has a rich history, some of our national dishes date back thousands of years. But the way we eat now bears little resemblance to how our ancestors ate. We have a range of ingredients to choose from that people from the 17th and 18th centuries could only dream of.

Dishes made from locally grown and sourced produce are the cornerstone of modern British cooking.

Each region of England has its own recipes and popular dishes. I would like to share with you some of my favourites from around Britain, both sweet and savoury.

Northern England


The counties in the north of England are famous for their generous, hearty food. This is food that will stick to your ribs! Warming, comforting and delicious.

Roast Rib of Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Roast beef

This is a favourite all over England; the main event is the joint of beef, but the accompaniments are also delicious and a vital part of the meal. Northern England’s grazing lands produce some of the finest beef in the country. Serves 8 – 10.

A 3.5kg rib of beef
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of English mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
280 ml Madeira
140 ml of full-bodied red wine
570 ml of good-quality beef stock
Salt and pepper

First, prepare the joint of beef. Place it in a roasting tin, fat side facing upwards, season with black pepper and a little of the mustard, and roast in a preheated oven, gas 8/230C/450F for 30 minutes. This seals the meat and gives it a dark crust, which will add to the flavour.

Lower the oven temperature to gas 4/180C/350F. Mix together the oil and mustard and spread it over the beef. Season well with salt and pepper and return it to the oven. Cook for 2 hours for rare meat, 2.5 hours for medium rare and 3 hours for medium to well done. (I don’t recommend that you serve this well done as it won’t be as tender and juicy.)

When done to your liking, remove the meat from the oven and place it on a plate or carving board. Cover with foil and allow to rest for an hour. It won’t go cold, so don’t worry.

For the gravy, pour the wine and beef stock into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue boiling until the liquid has reduced by half – this will take about 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Tilt the roasting tin and you will see two different coloured liquids in there. The lighter one is the fat. Use a spoon to scoop off the fat, leaving the dark and flavoursome meat juices in the pan. Add the wine and beef stock mixture and stir. Place the roasting tin over a low heat and stir until it’s thickened up. Season with salt and pepper and scrape up all the meat juices and crusty bits from the base of the tin. Pour the gravy into a jug for serving.

Using a sharp carving knife and carving fork, slice the meat, not too thinly, and put 3 -4 slices on each plate. Serve with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and your choice of fresh vegetables. And lots of gravy.

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire puddings

My mum used to make one big Yorkshire pudding on Sundays. I remember helping her by whisking the batter. I was always amazed at the sight of it all puffed-up and golden when it came out of the oven. Makes 8.

140g plain flour
4 large eggs
200 ml milk
Salt and pepper
8 tablespoons of oil or dripping

Sift the flour into a bowl by holding the sieve high above the bowl and gently shaking it from side to side. This adds air to the flour and helps the puddings to be light and well-risen. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the egg is blended with the flour before adding the next egg. Then add the milk, beating continuously, until you have a smooth batter. Stand for 30 minutes.

Take two 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins and preheat the oven to gas 8/230C/450F. Pour a tablespoon of oil into each hollow or add some meat juices from the roast and put the tins in the oven for a few minutes. When the oil or fat is hot, carefully pour the batter into the tins so it comes up almost right to the top. (If you pour the mixture into a jug first, this makes things much easier.)

Bake the Yorkshire puddings for 20 – 25 minutes, until risen, puffed up and golden brown.

Lancashire Hotpot

This hearty dish is cooked in one pot so that the flavours mingle together. It’s a great way to use lamb chops. Serves 6.

15g butter
1.1kg lamb chops
250g lamb’s kidneys, cored and quartered
1kg floury potatoes, peeled and sliced
275g onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
430 – 570 ml of good lamb stock
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the chops and kidneys. You might have to do this in batches. Take a deep 3.5 litre ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to gas 4/180C/350F. Layer the meat, rosemary, onions, carrots and potatoes in the dish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper, starting and ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour over the stock – you might not need it all – dot with more butter, cover the dish with a lid and put it in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, remove the lid and increase the oven temperature to gas7/220C/425F for a further 30 minutes, until the potatoes on top are brown and crispy at the edges. Serve with a green vegetable.

Fat Rascals

These are the Yorkshire version of griddle cakes. They were cooked over an open turf or peat fire and were known as turf cakes. Makes 10.

450g self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
230g butter
110g soft light brown sugar
110g currants, washed and dried
140 ml milk and water, mixed
Caster sugar for sprinkling

Sieve the flour and salt over a large bowl then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and currants and add enough milk and water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Handle it as little as possible, just enough to bring it together into a ball of dough.

Sprinkle a work surface or board with flour and roll out the dough to 1 cm thickness. Use a pastry cutter to stamp out 10 rounds. Place on a greased baking tray, sprinkle with some caster sugar and bake in a preheated oven gas 4/180C/350F for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack then transfer them to an airtight tin. They will keep for up to 2 days. Good served warm, cut in half and buttered.

Yorkshire Curd Tart

This was traditionally made for Whitsuntide when many villages in Yorkshire held fairs or feast days. Curd cheese is widely available but if you can’t find it, use full-fat cottage cheese instead. Serves 6.

1 sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
50g of caster sugar
225g curd cheese
2 medium eggs + 2 yolks
Zest of a lemon
25g butter, melted
50g currants
A little grated nutmeg

Use the pastry to line a 23 cm loose-based flan tin. Press the pastry firmly into the edges of the tin, trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife, and then prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F and bake the pastry case for 15 – 20 minutes, until starting to go pale golden brown. Allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to gas 4/180C/350F.

For the filling, beat the sugar and curd cheese together until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolks, lemon zest and melted butter. Stir in the currants and pour the mixture into the cooled pastry case. Grate a little nutmeg over the top of the tart and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the filling is set but with a slight wobble in the centre.

Allow to cool completely in the tin before serving.

The Midlands

Sheep grazing

This is known as the Heart of England and so much great produce comes from this region that it would be impossible to cover everything; beef, lamb, cheese, pies and fruit, all can be found here.

Stilton and Celery Soup

Stilton and celery soup

The Midlands is the home of Stilton, known as the king of cheeses. This soup combines the crumbly, tangy cheese with celery, a perfect marriage of flavours and a delicious, warming soup for a winter’s day. Serves 6.

30g of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 head of celery, cleaned and chopped
800 ml chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons of dry white wine
30g plain flour
140g Stilton, crumbled
140 ml double cream
Salt and pepper
A small bunch of fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion and celery for 5 – 7 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the stock, a bit at a time. Add the wine.

Put the pan back on a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Puree in a food processor or use a hand blender to thoroughly liquidise the soup, until the texture is smooth and velvety.

Add the crumbled stilton and stir over a low heat until melted. Stir in the chopped parsley and the cream, season with salt and pepper and serve in warmed bowls with some good crusty bread.

Potted Cheese

This old English recipe makes use of any odd bits of cheese you have in your fridge. Delicious spread onto crackers or hot toast. Serves 6.

110g of butter
230g Cheddar, Stilton, or Cheshire cheese, grated
3 – 4 tablespoons of double cream
A little sherry or port to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
85g butter, melted

Soften the butter then add all of the other ingredients, except the melted butter. Mix to a smooth paste. Taste and season if necessary. Spoon the mixture into 6 ramekin dishes or one large dish, smooth the top and pour over the melted butter. Cover with cling film and chill until firm.

Pork With Cider and Horseradish

Simple, delicious and easy to make. Pork, apples and cider go so well together. The horseradish adds a nice warmth to the sauce. Serves 4.

680g pork fillet, trimmed of fat
2 tablespoons of olive oil
30g butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
280 ml medium-dry cider
1 tablespoon of creamed horseradish sauce
Salt and pepper

Using a sharp knife, slice the pork fillet into rounds (medallions) about 1 cm thick. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the pork in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the meat won’t brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put onto a plate. Leave to one side.

Add the butter to the same pan and heat until sizzling. Fry the apples, onion and sugar for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and apples are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Pour the cider into the pan, turn up the heat and boil for about 5 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the creamed horseradish. Return the pork, apples and onion to the pan and season well. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the pork is done.

This is nice with some mashed potato to soak up the delicious sauce.

Bakewell Tart

Bakewell tart

Bakewell tart has been made in the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire’s peak district since the 1800s. It was actually made by mistake but has been a firm favourite ever since. Serves 8 – 10.

1 sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
200g of butter
85g soft light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
140g of ground almonds
A few drops of almond extract
140g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons of milk
280g strawberry or raspberry jam
30g flaked almonds

Take a 23cm loose-based flan tin with fluted edges and unroll the sheet of pastry. Carefully lay it in the tin and push it into the edges and base of the tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F. Bake the pastry case for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and decrease the temperature to gas 4/180C/350F. Allow to cool.

Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, add the almond extract, then gently fold in the flour and ground almonds. Add the milk if the mixture looks a bit too stiff. Spread the jam over the bottom of the pastry case and spoon the almond mixture on top.

Sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the surface and bake the tart for 35 – 40 minutes, until the filling feels firm when you press it down with your fingers. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes.

Place the flan tin on top of a can and pull down the edge, then slide the tart onto a serving plate, carefully removing the metal base. Serve warm or cold, with cream or ice cream.

Iced Berry Mousse

A delicious dessert that makes use of the abundance of fresh berries grown in the region. Use whatever combination of fruit you like. Serves 6 -8.

230g mixed red berries, such as raspberries, redcurrants or loganberries
85g icing sugar, sifted
The juice of 1 lemon
1.25 teaspoons of powdered gelatine, or a vegetarian alternative
140 ml double cream
1 medium egg white
110g of raspberries to decorate
Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Puree the berries in a food processor then stir in 30g of the icing sugar. Put the lemon juice into a small, heatproof bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave it for 5 minutes until it looks all spongy. Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form.

Whisk the egg white until stiff, then gradually whisk in the remaining 55g of icing sugar. It should look white and glossy. Stir the dissolved gelatine into the fruit puree and mix well. Fold the cream into the fruit mixture, followed by the meringue. Be gentle, the air that’s incorporated will make the mousse very light.

Pour the mixture into 8 large ramekins, which have been lightly oiled, and freeze for 4 hours, until solid. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes to soften slightly. Tip the dish upside down and transfer the moulds to a plate. Decorate with fresh raspberries and sprigs of mint.

The South East

Kent, England

Called the Garden of England,  this region produces the finest quality meat, fish, fruit and cheeses. Kent is famous for its ale-making and the whole region has an abundance of fruit and vegetables.

Potted Shrimps

Ideal for a light lunch or a starter. Shellfish are plentiful around the south coast and the prawns are always perfectly fresh. Serves 6.

340g peeled shrimps or prawns
170g of butter
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Half a lemon to serve

Put the butter into a small pan and melt it over a medium heat. Bring it to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside. Put the prawns or shrimps into a bowl with half the melted butter. Stir in the cayenne and seasoning and mix well.

Spoon into 6 ramekins, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon. Pour over the remaining melted butter and cool. Refrigerate overnight and serve with hot buttered toast and slices of lemon to garnish.

Bacon and Spinach Flan

Bacon and spinach quiche

Use young leaf spinach for this quiche as it is tender and doesn’t need cooking. Serves 6.

1 sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
230g smoked back bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
40g young leaf spinach, roughly chopped
3 medium eggs, beaten
140 ml of double cream
100g of grated mature cheddar
Salt and pepper

Unroll the sheet of pastry and use it to line a 23 cm loose-based flan tin. Press the pastry down firmly, making sure it goes right into the fluted edges. Prick all over with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the bacon and onion into a non-stick pan and fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onion has softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake the pastry case for 15 minutes. Scatter over the spinach and top with the bacon and onion mixture. Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour over the top. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. This makes a great lunch, served with a mixed salad.

English Trifle

The first known trifle was produced in the 1800s in England. Nobody seems to know where the name came from, but it’s a  spectacular dessert and one of my favourites. Serves 8.

170g jam swiss roll
5 tablespoons of sweet sherry
75g of blueberries
100g of raspberries
150g of strawberries, stalks and hulls removed and cut in half
300 ml of full-fat milk
300 ml of double cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of cornflour
4 large egg yolks
75g caster sugar

300 ml of double or whipping cream
A handful of toasted flaked almonds

Find a large, decorative glass bowl. Slice the swiss roll into 12 pieces and line the base of the dish with them. The cake should come up part of the way up the sides of the dish. Pour over the sherry and allow it to soak in. Scatter the fruit evenly over the sponge.

To make the custard, put the milk and cream into a pan and heat until it comes up to the boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and leave for 15 minutes. Blend the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thickened, then pour on the milk and cream mixture, stirring continuously.

Pour the custard back into the milk pan and stir over a gentle heat until thickened and smooth. This could take up to 10 minutes but don’t rush it or you’ll have scrambled eggs! Stir the cornflour mixture and pour it into the custard. Cook for another couple of minutes; the custard should go even thicker.

Pour the custard into a bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm. This stops a skin from forming. Allow to it cool completely.

To finish the trifle, pour the cold custard over the sponge and fruit and chill in the fridge. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks. Spoon the cream over the set custard and scatter over the flaked almonds. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

East Anglia

Norfolk windmill

Famous for its fruit, vegetables, shellfish and poultry, this region of England produces some of the finest oysters anywhere in the UK. Norfolk turkey is produced here and Tiptree and Elsenham are known for their jams and preserves.

Smoked Trout with Avocado Mousse

Smoked trout and avocado go beautifully together. This makes a lovely starter for 2 or a light lunch served with wholemeal bread and butter.

2 smoked trout fillets, about 85g each
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons soured cream or Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Half a teaspoon of creamed horseradish sauce
Salt and pepper
Thin slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh dill to garnish

Cut the avocado in half and push out the stone with the tip of a knife. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, making sure to get the darker green bits close to the skin. Puree the avocado in a food processor or blender, with the soured cream or yoghurt, mayonnaise, horseradish and seasoning. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Put the smoked trout onto 2 serving plates and spoon half the avocado mousse onto each plate Garnish with lemon slices and fresh dill.

Roast Norfolk Turkey

Carving turkey

Norfolk is the biggest producer of turkey in the country. A Norfolk Bronze turkey is considered to be the best available. Turkeys are rather large, but the good news is that there will be lots of leftovers; there are so many great dishes that can be made from leftover roast turkey so it’s economical as well as tasty. Serves 8 – 10.

One 6.75kg turkey
6 rashers of smoked bacon
75g of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
4 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
30g plain flour
430 ml of good-quality chicken stock
4 tablespoons port or sherry
Salt and pepper

Line a large, deep roasting tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the turkey in the tin and spread the butter all over the breast and legs. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the turkey, then put the lemon shells inside the bird. Put the rosemary sprigs inside with the lemon. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, scatter over the thyme leaves and lay the bacon rashers over the breast.

Preheat the oven to gas 5/190C/375F and cook the turkey for 20 minutes per kilo plus 90 minutes. Use a large spoon to baste the turkey frequently during cooking; this will keep it nice and moist.

To test if the turkey is done, push a skewer into the thickest part of the leg. If the juices are clear, then it’s cooked. If any trace of pink is showing, give it another 15 minutes then test again.

Cover the turkey with foil and allow it to rest for up to an hour before carving. The bacon will be very crisp so discard it if you want.

To make the gravy, pour off the fat in the roasting tin, leaving just the turkey juices behind. Place the roasting tin over a low heat and add the flour, stirring continuously, to form a paste. Cook for a minute then gradually add the stock, whisking well all the time so that no lumps can form. Add the port or sherry and stir. The gravy should be of pouring consistency but not too runny. Transfer to a jug or gravy boat to make pouring easier.

Serve with roast potatoes, a selection of vegetables and the gravy.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and butter pudding

A simple pudding, made from slices of bread, mixed dried fruit and creamy custard, it’s an old-fashioned concoction but one that’s stood the test of time. It’s surprisingly light too. This one has the addition of apricot jam for extra sweetness and flavour. Serves 4 – 6.

110g mixed dried fruit
10 slices from a medium loaf, crusts cut off
60g of butter, softened
140g of apricot jam
300 ml single cream
270 ml of full-fat milk
3 tablespoons caster sugar
A teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 medium eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Butter each slice of bread generously and spread with apricot jam. Sandwich the slices together and cut each one into 4 triangles. Butter a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish and arrange the triangles so that they overlap slightly. Scatter with the dried fruit, then add another layer of bread, then more fruit, finishing with a layer of bread.

Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based pan and add the vanilla extract. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the hot cream mixture onto the beaten eggs, beating continuously, until smooth. Pour over the bread and leave to soak for up to an hour.

Preheat the oven to gas 5/190C/375F and place the baking dish inside a larger one. Fill the lower dish with boiling water so that it comes half way up the sides of the pudding dish. This is known as a bain-marie and it helps the pudding to set without going dry. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the top of the pudding and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown on top.

Serve warm with cream or custard.

The West Country


The lush green land of the south western corner of England produces superior beef and lamb, as well as cheeses, milk and cream and many varieties of fruit and vegetables. The seafood is of the highest quality. Somerset is famous for its Cheddar cheese and also cider, a refreshing drink made from apples. And don’t forget the indulgent cream tea!

Mussels in a Cream and Saffron Sauce


This is a rich and indulgent way to cook fresh mussels. It’s best to cook the mussels on the same day that you buy them. Serves 4 – 6.

2kg mussels
30g of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
430 ml dry white wine
A teaspoon of saffron strands
140 ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges for squeezing over

To prepare the mussels, scrub the shells thoroughly and remove any bits of seaweed, as well as the hairy ‘beards’ and any sand. Wash the mussels in several changes of cold water to ensure they’re really clean. If any of the shells don’t close when you tap them, throw them away. They won’t be safe to eat.

Heat the butter in a large, deep pan and when sizzling add the onion. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Tip in the mussels and pour over the wine. Add the saffron and give the pan a good shake to mix everything together.

The shells should all have opened within 5 minutes. If any remain closed, discard them. Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon onto a large plate and keep them warm.

Boil the liquid left in the pan until it’s reduced by half. Add the cream and stir well. Serve the mussels in deep bowls with the creamy sauce ladled over them and lemon wedges to squeeze over. Crusty French bread is a must to mop up all the delicious juices. Or, do as the French do and serve with French fries!

Cornish Pasties

Cornish pasties

Originally made for farmers and miners to take to work, Cornish pasties are made with lean meat and herby potatoes, wrapped in crisp shortcrust pastry. These are very substantial so can be eaten on their own, warm or cold. Makes 4.

1 block of ready-made shortcrust pastry
455g lean rump steak
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
230g potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Beaten egg to glaze

First, make the filling. Chop the meat into small pieces and put it into a bowl with the onion, carrot and potatoes. Season well, then add the herbs and a splash of water to moisten the filling. There’s no need to cook it as it will cook inside the pastry.

Roll out the pastry on a floured board or work surface until it’s about 3 mm thick. Cut out 4 circles about 20.5 cm in size. Divide the meat mixture into 4 portions and place it in the centre of each pastry circle. Brush the rims with water and bring the edges of the pastry up to meet above the filling. Pinch together firmly to create a seal then fold the seam over to form a ridge.

Place the pasties on a baking tray and chill for 15 minutes. Brush all over with the beaten egg and bake at gas 6/200C/400F for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to gas 4/180C/350F and bake for a further 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Crab Thermidor

This is a take on lobster thermidor, using the fresh crab that is so plentiful around the coastline of this region. Rich and creamy, and tangy with cheese and mustard, this makes an excellent lunch dish. Serves 6.

650g cooked crab, white and brown meat
280 ml of full-fat milk
60g of butter
20g plain flour
1 dried bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
1 shallot, peeled and very finely chopped
140 ml double cream
1 teaspoon of English mustard
4 tablespoons of white wine
Salt and pepper
65g grated Cheddar cheese

Pour the milk into a pan and add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring slowly to the boil and remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug and discard the flavourings.

Melt 20g of the butter in a clean pan and add the flour, stirring until a stiff paste has formed. Cook for 3 minutes then turn up the heat and add the flavoured milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously. Keep going until all the milk is in and you have a smooth sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.

Break up the crab meat, checking that there are no fragments of shell in it. Melt the remaining butter in a non-stick pan and fry the shallots until softened. Add the wine and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the cream and the white sauce. Add the crab meat and mustard and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture into 6 shallow ovenproof dishes and sprinkle with the Cheddar. Dust with the paprika and put under a hot grill until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve with a salad.

Dorset Apple Cake

Apple cake

This moist cake is made from local apples but you can use whatever apples you have available. It’s better if the apples are slightly sharp. This cake is very simple to make so ideal for a novice cook. Serves 8.

227g self-raising flour
115g butter
115g caster sugar
227g sharp eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
Grated zest of a lemon
1 medium egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, prepared apples, lemon zest and egg and mix well. Spoon the cake mixture into a 20cm round tin, lined with baking paper then bake in a preheated oven, gas 5/190C/375F for 30 – 40 minutes until golden in colour, and if you push a skewer into the middle it comes out clean.

Cool in the tin, then turn out onto a plate. This can be enjoyed with a nice cup of tea or served warm with custard as a pudding. Or serve with clotted cream vanilla ice cream (recipe below)

Clotted Cream Vanilla Ice Cream

Clotted cream ice cream

This is the best vanilla ice cream I have ever tasted. Clotted cream has a very high butterfat content and is thick and pale yellow, with a distinctive ‘crust’ on top. Fortunately, it’s now available all over the country; you won’t have to travel to Devon or Dorset just to buy some!

570 ml of full-fat milk
280 ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
6 medium egg yolks
110g caster sugar
230g clotted cream

Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife. Heat the milk and double cream in a heavy-based pan with the vanilla pod and seeds until just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes before straining into a jug.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale in colour. An electric hand whisk is best for this. Pour the milk and cream mixture over the eggs, whisking continuously, then tip it back into the milk pan and heat, stirring, until thickened. Leave to cool.

Once cold, fold in the clotted cream and pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container. Freeze for a couple of hours until ice crystals have formed. Beat thoroughly with the whisk to break up the ice crystals, then return to the freezer. Repeat this process twice more, at hourly intervals. You want the ice cream to be smooth and velvety.

Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes to soften before serving. Lovely just as it is, or served with your favourite dessert.

An English Cream Tea

Cream tea

I just had to include this one! It’s a fine example of how something so simple can taste so good. Buttery scones, fresh from the oven and still warm, strawberry jam and thick clotted cream. Served with a pot of tea. Makes 12 scones.

225g self-raising flour
40g butter, softened
A pinch of salt
1.5 tablespoons of caster sugar
150 ml of milk
Flour for dusting

Sift the flour into a bowl, holding the sieve up high to get air into the flour. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt and add some of the milk, working it into the dough with a knife. You may not need to add all of the milk.

Bring the dough together with your hands, handling it as little as possible. Add a splash more milk if it feels dry. Roll out the dough on a floured board or work surface to a thickness of no less than 2.5 cm. Cut out rounds with a 4 or 5 cm pastry cutter (fluted or plain) placing the cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp tap to cut through. Don’t be tempted to twist the pastry cutter or your scones will turn out a peculiar shape!

Lift the circle of dough out carefully and place it on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Repeat the process with the rest of the scones.

Continue until all the dough is used up; you will have to gather up the scraps and re-roll them to get the right number of scones. Dust lightly with flour and bake in a preheated oven, gas 7/220C/425F for 12 – 15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the scones have risen to more than double their original height.

Cool on a wire rack and eat them slightly warm, while they’re crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Scones are best eaten on the day they’re made, but you can freeze them for another day. Use them within one month.

I hope that this article has given you some insight into our food heritage. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below and I hope you like the recipes.

For more detailed information on the different regions and their culinary history, please visit my post on traditional British food dishes.

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10 thoughts on “English Food Recipes”

  1. I’ve had Stilton and Celery soup a couple of times in my life and I have to admit that it’s one of my absolute favorites. I’m not a big celery fan, but the mixture of this soup is astonishingly delicious. I’m very intrigued with the Yorkshire curd tart so I’ll be definitely adding these ingredients to my list for the next time I go grocery shopping. 

    • Hi Stephanie, I’m glad you liked the article. Yorkshire curd tart reminds me of a baked lemon cheesecake, with pastry instead of a biscuit base. Do try it and let me know what you think. I agree, the combination of Stilton and celery is magical!

  2. YAY! more delicious recipes to make and try out!

    I enjoy cooking though I prefer baking more than cooking, but anyways these are some scrumptious recipes that I’m excited to try out, especially the desserts. I’m going to save this and definitely give something a go!

    I like how this post not only provides recipe but also a bit about where they come from as well as the region. Great post, keep it up!

    • Hi Sariyah, thank you for your kind comments, I’m glad you enjoyed this article. There is more information on these regions of England and the food that’s local to them on my website, England has such a rich and fascinating history with food. 

      I hope that you make some of these recipes, the desserts are just amazing! I have a sweet tooth and love baking too, I’m going to make the Dorset apple cake later. It’s one of my favourites. The first slice of cake, eaten while still warm from the oven, is one of life’s great pleasures

  3. Yorkshire pudding was the first true English dish I came across when I moved to the UK in my twenties. My first thought was that as it is a pudding, it must be a desert, only to find that it is a great accompaniment to roast beef. So it is great to find this homemade recipe here. 

    I have heard about potted cheese, and I will certainly try this recipe here. But there are so many options for the different regions in the UK, that it would be good to see it separated into several different posts for the individual regions. It would do more justices to the unique dishes for each region, to have a post with recipes for each region. 

    • Thanks Line, I did consider doing it that way but the issue was finding keywords. Big problem! 

      Yorkshire pudding was invented to fill people up as meat was expensive,  so they had to bulk out the plate with something cheaper. It was served with jam spread on it as a dessert funnily enough! 

      This is a foolproof recipe for Yorkshire pudding and you will be amazed at how much they rise! 

  4. Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing these recipes from all regions of England. I have some friends coming over this weekend, and that would be a great idea to impress them with English meals. However, the dish that appeals to me most is the Lancashire Hotpot and Roast Rib. I’ll try these and hope they will love it:) Just a question, please. What kind of pepper do you use for the roast bib, grain, or powder? I’ve heard that there is a difference between the two peppers in taste.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Daniella, I’m so pleased you liked these recipes enough to share them with your friends. I always use freshly ground black pepper, it has the best flavour. Ready-ground pepper is completely different and not as nice. Don’t forget to make a proper English pudding to follow the main course. I can recommend the bread and butter pudding, you will love it! 

  5. I’m drooling as usual!!! I want all of these but as a huge soup fan–I might have to try making the celery soup. But the biscuits with jam and cream look heavenly!! I’m not a baker but I think I could manage that!! <3

    • Hi Amanda, you should definitely try the scones with cream and jam. You will be forever hooked! Scones are not hard to make and when they’re warm from the oven they’re one of life’s pleasures


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