‘The following three recipes tell the story of modern British cooking, and how it has evolved from being a culinary laughing stock to our chefs now competing with the world’s best. Here, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes crab, with its sweet, delicate flesh, and cooks it with fresh coriander leaf, a touch of red chilli and a grating of Parmesan to produce a rich, wantonly delicious tart. Try using root ginger and tomatoes to season if you’re not so keen on coriander. This would make a fine starter for an alfresco lunch, should you wish to celebrate the Jubilee in style.’

Thomasina Miers

Crab tart

Extract from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher’s
The River Cottage Fish Book
Published by Bloomsbury

With its creamy, soft-set filling, this tart is very rich and very gorgeous. You could use the recipe to make individual tarts, though a large one is less fiddly and avoids the pitfall of a too high pastry-to-filling ratio.

Serves 8 as a starter

Ingredients

1 cooked large brown crab or
2 spider crabs (or one of each), brown and white meat picked out, or 300g fresh crabmeat
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Half to one fresh red chilli (depending on heat), deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
2-3tbsp coarsely chopped coriander
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
200ml whole milk
200ml double cream
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper

For the shortcrust pastry

200g plain flour
A pinch of salt
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, separated
About 50ml cold milk

Method

Start with the pastry. Put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and then, with the processor running, pour in the milk in a thin stream. Watch carefully and stop adding the milk as soon as the dough comes together. (You may not need it all.) Tip out on to a lightly floured board, knead a couple of times to make a smooth ball of dough, then wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour.

Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Let the excess pastry hang over the edge of the tin-don’t trim it off. Prick the base in several places with a fork; line it with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or rice.
Bake in an oven preheated to 160˚C/gas mark 3 for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 10 minutes, until it looks dry and cooked.

Lightly beat the egg white and brush it all over the pastry. Return the pastry case to the oven once more and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden. This helps to seal the pastry and prevent any filling from leaking out. Trim off the excess pastry using a small, sharp knife. Turn the oven up to 180˚C/ gas mark 4.

Loosely combine the brown and white meat in a bowl, taking care not to break it up too much or reduce it to a paste.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, sauté for 5-10 minutes, until soft and light golden, then remove from the pan and set aside. Add another dash of olive oil to the pan and throw in the garlic and chilli. Fry until the garlic just begins to colour and gives off a nutty aroma, then immediately toss in the crabmeat. Stir to combine it with the chilli and garlic, and then take the pan off the heat. Stir in the onion, along with the lemon juice, coriander and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the crab mixture into the baked tart case. Don’t press it down or pack it in, just arrange it carefully with a fork.

Combine the eggs, egg yolks, milk and cream, season well and pour the mixture over the crab. A poke and a nudge might be required at this point to encourage the custard to spread evenly through the crab filling.

Bake the tart in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the custard is just set, then set aside to cool slightly, for about 15 minutes before serving.

Coronation chicken’s gentle spicing comes from India, but nowhere else will you find a dish that smacks so much of Britain. It’s a brilliant recipe for entertaining, as it can be made ahead of time and is best served at room temperature, meaning that you can kick back and enjoy the party. Although the recipe is simple, it does require a little care for sterling results. A gently poached chicken produces moist, succulent flesh that binds deliciously with the lightly curried, apricot-scented dressing. The rice salad is equally mouthwatering, and a perfect foil for the chicken’

Thomasina Miers

Coronation chicken

Extract from Constance Spry’s
The Constance Spry Cookery Book
Published by Grub Street

One would not venture to serve, to a large number of guests of varying and unknown tastes, a curry dish in the generally accepted sense of this term. Because it was difficult to draw a line of differentiation between what should and should not come within the category, we decided to include as curries all dishes in which curry powder or paste formed an ingredient. I doubt whether many of the three hundred-odd guests at the Coronation luncheon detected this ingredient in a chicken dish which was distinguished mainly by a delicate and nut-like flavour in the sauce.

Serves 6-8, cold

Ingredients

2 young roasting chickens
Water and a little wine to cover
Carrot
A bouquet garni
Salt
3-4 peppercorns
Cream of curry sauce (see below)

Method

Poach the chickens, with carrot, bouquet, salt, and peppercorns, in water and a little wine, enough barely to cover, for about 40 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool in the liquid. Joint the birds, remove the bones with care. Prepare the sauce given below. Mix the chicken and the sauce together, arrange on a dish, coat with the extra sauce.

For convenience in serving on the occasion mentioned, the chicken was arranged at one end of an oblong dish, and a rice salad as given below was arranged at the other.

Cream of curry sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil
50g/2oz onion, finely chopped
1 dessertspoon curry powder
1 good teaspoon tomato purée
1 wineglass red wine
Three-quarters wineglass water
A bayleaf
Salt, sugar, a touch of pepper
A slice or two of lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice, possibly more
1-2 tablespoons apricot purée
450ml/three-quarters of a pint mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons lightly whipped cream
A little extra whipped cream

Method

Heat the oil, add onion, cook gently 3-4 minutes, add curry powder. Cook again 1-2 minutes. Add tomato purée, wine, water, and bayleaf. Bring to boil, add salt, sugar to taste, pepper, and the lemon and lemon juice. Simmer with the pan uncovered 5-10 minutes. Strain and cool. Add by degrees to the mayonnaise with the apricot purée to taste. Adjust seasoning, adding a little more lemon juice if necessary. Finish with the whipped cream. Take a small amount of sauce (enough to coat the chicken) and mix with a little extra cream and seasoning. This is an admirable sauce to serve with iced lobster.

Rice salad

The rice salad that accompanied the chicken was of carefully cooked rice, cooked peas, diced raw cucumber, and finely chopped mixed herbs, all mixed in a well-seasoned French dressing.

‘The last recipe is a pudding from my first cookbook, Cook, but the recipe was inspired by a wonderful Australian cookery writer, Stephanie Alexander. I borrowed her technique (which I think she borrowed from the Italians) of making a ‘nougat’ ice cream-that is, using a sugar syrup and binding it with egg white. The genius of this method is that you don’t need an ice-cream machine. You just whip up some whites, pour in some boiled sugar and, in this case, gently fold in some plump summer berries seasoned with vanilla, Cointreau and lemon zest. Although the ice cream forgoes the usual sliced white in a summer pudding, it does have that same heady mix of fruit’

‘The last recipe is a pudding from my first cookbook, Cook, but the recipe was inspired by a wonderful Australian cookery writer, Stephanie Alexander. I borrowed her technique (which I think she borrowed from the Italians) of making a ‘nougat’ ice cream-that is, using a sugar syrup and binding it with egg white. The genius of this method is that you don’t need an ice-cream machine. You just whip up some whites, pour in some boiled sugar and, in this case, gently fold in some plump summer berries seasoned with vanilla, Cointreau and lemon zest. Although the ice cream forgoes the usual sliced white in a summer pudding, it does have that same heady mix of fruit’

Thomasina Miers

Summer-pudding nougat ice cream

Extract from Thomasina Miers’s Cook
Published by Collins

This pudding, which I adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion, is utterly delicious. It is like the summer pudding that my grandfather used to make for me, but stirred into a nougat ice cream. By all means use frozen berries if you get a yearning for this out of season. The ice cream is also great with rhubarb purée, but try it with quince, or sharp gooseberry, which cuts through the sweetness.

Feeds 10

Ingredients

For the summer fruits
300g mixed raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
Zest of 1 lemon
Caster sugar to taste
1 good tablespoon Cointreau (optional)

For the almond praline

120g caster sugar
90g flaked almonds, toasted

For the ice cream

80g caster sugar
45g liquid glucose
60g honey
6 egg whites
600ml double cream, softly whipped

You will need a sugar thermo-meter, an electric whisk and a bowl filled with ice

Method

First make the summer fruit purée. Poach the berries with a splash of water, the vanilla pod, lemon zest and sugar for 15 minutes until soft. Purée, sieve and stir in the Cointreau, if using, and a tablespoon of the whipped double cream. Set aside.

Next, make the praline. Put the sugar in a heavy saucepan and pour just enough water to cover. Dissolve the sugar over a medium heat, brushing the sides of the pan with cold water to prevent crystals forming.

As the caramel starts turning golden, swirl it round to distribute it without stirring. When the caramel is golden all over, pour onto a baking sheet over the almonds. When it is set, break up using a mortar and pestle, or roll with a rolling pin. You can do this in a food processor,
but you will get a much more powdered result with fewer caramelised nut chunks, which are delicious in the ice cream.

For the ice cream, dissolve the sugar, glucose and honey over a medium heat in the same pan you used to make the praline. When the mixture is fully dissolved, heat it to the softball stage (116˚C/240˚F) on a sugar thermometer-it will bubble vigorously, but do not be put off by this.
Remove from the heat and beat the egg whites in a large metal bowl until they form stiff peaks.

Place the egg-white bowl into the bowl of ice and beat in the syrup until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Slowly fold in the cream until thoroughly combined. Fold in the praline. Gently swirl half the fruit purée into the nougat, creating a ripple effect. Pour into a container or terrine mould, cover with cling film or greaseproof paper, and freeze for at least 12 hours. Serve in slices with the rest of the sauce.

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