We have so many brilliant British foods for you to explore and enjoy. Here are some sweet and savoury recipes for you to try using just a couple of our national treasures: the ravishing rhubarb and amazing asparagus…
Celebrate the best of British with these recipes based around two classic components: rhubarb and asparagus. They’re vibrant, they’re tasty, and they look really good – don’t forget to snap a picture for the ‘gram!
James Strawbridge’s rhubarb and custard tart
For the pastry
For the custard
For the rhubarb
For the rhubarb jelly
- Start by making your pastry by combining the flour and butter in a bowl and rubbing together into a breadcrumb texture. Then mix the icing sugar and egg and mix in to form a dough. If it’s too dry, add a little water. Shape into a ball and wrap in a beeswax wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Roll out your pastry into a 23cm tart tin and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 180˚C fan and arrange your batons of rhubarb on a baking tray sprinkled with star anise and sugar. Leave to macerate for 15 mins while the oven heats up and then cook for 10 minutes to soften.
- Reduce the heat to 160˚C and line your tart case with a sheet of baking parchment weighted down by baking beans. Bake the pastry case for 20 minutes then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Trim off the edges with a fine grater.
- Make your custard by heating your cream, vanilla and peppercorns with sugar on a medium heat until it is nearly at boiling point. Strain your infused sweetened cream and next whisk your egg yolks in a separate bowl. Gradually pour a little warm cream at a time in with the eggs while beating. Slowly incorporate all the infused cream and whisk into a smooth mixture. Return the custard to the pan and gently warm through while stirring to thicken.
- Allow to cool and pour into your pastry case. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180˚C until the custard sets but still has a slight wobble.
- In a small saucepan, cook your remaining chopped rhubarb, sugar and water for a jelly. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and then strain the pink syrup with a sieve. Add your setting agent – in this case a small spoonful of agar agar – and whisk until dissolved.
- Top the custard tart with a neat chevron arrangement of rhubarb batons and finally pour over your jelly. Leave for 5-10 minutes to set and serve a slice with generous dollop of clotted cream.
British asparagus with apple juice, poached eggs, sourdough and Hollandaise sauce
- Peel the lower half of the asparagus stalks and trim where it naturally breaks.
- Place in a pan on a medium heat with the apple juice, butter and a sprinkling of salt.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is tender and what remains is a small amount of glaze.
- While the asparagus is cooking, bring a pan of water at least 5cm deep to a simmer. Stir the water to create a whirlpool and crack an egg into the centre. Allow to poach for 3-4 minutes until the white is set, then remove with a slotted spoon. Keep warm in a pan of not too hot water while you cook the other eggs.
- Toast a few slices of sourdough.
- Place the toast on a plate, add the eggs and asparagus and pour over the glaze, top with shaved parmesan and lemon zest or alternatively leave off the glaze and spoon over some Hollandaise. Sprinkle over the zested lemon.
Scrambled egg, bacon and roast asparagus toast
A bundle of asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices sourdough bread or ciabatta
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
50g havarti or swiss cheese shredded or cut into small chunks
75g bacon, pan fried
- Layer the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and then season with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a preheated oven at 220˚C/Fan 200˚C for 5-8 minutes or until the asparagus is lightly roasted. Set aside.
- Toast the sourdough bread slices before spreading with butter.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the eggs. Let the eggs cook until the edge begins to bubble, then gently push the edges into the centre of the pan with a spatula and continue to stir the eggs. When the eggs are almost all cooked, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat while the eggs are still soft.
- Top the buttered sourdough toasts with 1/4 each of the scrambled eggs and cheese. Top with 4-5 pieces of the roasted asparagus and sprinkle with the bacon. Serve immediately.