How to Make....
Traditional English Food

Trying out new recipes and foreign foods is fun. But sometimes, cookery writers assume that we already know it all. Have you ever picked up a recipe that sort of started in the middle? That instructed you to Take a pound of suet crust pastry only for you to wonder where to get hold of some or how to make it yourself?

Isn't it endlessly frustrating when that happens?

I love researching and trying out very old recipes and I find that even the likes of Mrs Beeton assume a certain level of cookery skills.

But these days, when many of us don't cook for a living, some of that old knowledge is certainly missing. And sometimes we all need a little help in the kitchen.

So, in this section I've put together guides for some of the most common cookery questions I'm being asked. I'll try and cover whatever comes up from queries on making tea to making elderberry jam or ice cream or gravy or fudge ... Just spin through the list for whatever guide you need.

How to Make Apple Pie

Apple Pie © robynmac | fotolia.comApple Pie © robynmac |

Apple Pie is a true English tradition. Best made with a mix of cooking and dessert apples, it sports a crisp pastry shell and can have raisins, nuts or spices like cloves, lemon peel or cinnamon added to the mix.

How to Make Jam

Jam Making © sestovic | getty-canva.comJam Making
© sestovic |

Jam's nothing more than a mix of fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Usually, you mix fruit and jam in a ratio of 1:1. And then you cook it until it sets, adding the lemon juice towards the end.

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce © Ildi | fotolia.comHollandaise Sauce © Ildi |

English asparagus, poached salmon, new potatoes or Eggs Benedict for breakfast - Hollandaise sauce is a great one to have in your repertoire. It has a reputation of being tasty, but difficult to make, but don't let that deter you.

Making Suet Crust Pastry

Steamed Suet Pudding © Monkey Business Images | dreamstime.comSteamed Suet Pudding © Monkey Business Images |

You'll need this pastry for some of England's great traditional puddings like Jam Roll, Spotted Dick or Steak and Kidney Pudding. Suet crust is a soft, pliable pastry that's commonly steamed, rather than baked. And even if you've never used suet before, you'll find this very easy to make.

How to Make Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam © antoninaviasova | canva.comBlackberry Jam
© antoninaviasova |

Making jam is enjoyable and a good way to make the most of fruit when it's plentiful and cheap or - as in the case of wild blackberries - entirely free. Picking blackberries and turning them into crumbles, cakes and jam has to be one of the great pleasures of late summer. And here's how you turn them into jam...

As you can see, we've already collected a goodly collection of English food and cookery guides. And there are plenty more on the way. So please, keep checking back frequently. And if there's some English recipe that defeates your cookery skills, simply drop me a line.

Return to the recipe section for other great English dishes.