Don’t miss this chance to get your hands on a signed copy of this best selling book, signed by everyone’s favourite “This Morning” chef, Phil Vickery.
Phil has travelled all over Britain seeking out our best food, the farmers who grow it and the producers who turn it into everything from stilton to clotted cream to smoked salmon. Phil introduces us to some of the people who catch our fish, grow our veg and farm our meat, and offers his own favourite 130 recipes using their produce. Top food photographer Steve Lee travelled with Phil, and together they have created an extraordinary collection of recipes, stories and photographs.
A mixture of personal interest, an ever-depleting larder, not to mention the quest for perfection, drew me towards the people and places featuring in this book; the very best of Britain’s producers and suppliers.
I have travelled all over the UK and met some amazing, colourful characters. All of them united in the desire to grow, produce or catch the very best possible. Many have become firm friends, and I have been impressed enough to put my money where my mouth is and serve this wonderful British grub in my own restaurants or pubs. I am delighted to say the producers’ passion is matched by an appreciative dining clientele hungry to snap up everything they can produce.
We wanted to find bespoke producers going about their own, often peculiar brand of the food business for years. Several of the family producers featured have been in the same game for well over a century. I was also keen to discover and show the unique and often archaic methods; all of them have evolved over time to make their very own product the best around.
Most of our producers have had some tough times over the years. All businesses go through their ups and downs, but one thing this lot all share is their steadfast, unshakeable belief in their own great products, which they have stuck with through thick and thin. Now there is a renewed public interest in artisan-made quality food. All of our producers are at the very least back on an even keel and will never change how they go about that.
Although not Britain, the best experience of all, and had to be in the book, has to be venturing deep into the Southern Irish countryside to collect honey with a master of his craft and afterwards taking afternoon tea with twenty bee-keeping nuns in a nearby convent, the youngest of whom was sixty-nine years of age. They were the most delightful group of ladies you could hope to meet, and I have to say as a time-served pastry chef that their honey and cream-laden scones put mine to shame.
This fabulous experience has really made me think about, feel for and cook food in a different light. So over the next two dozen or so chapters, I have come up with a selection of recipes that incorporate the best British foods I have seen and had the honour of helping produce. My modest aim for these simple, tasty recipes is to bring out the best in these unique ingredients.
Roasted Apples & Pears with Cider Froth
From BRITAIN the cookbook – by Phil Vickery
- 6 British apples such as Russet, Charles Ross, Worcester Pearmain, ripe and firm
- 6 Conference pears, ripe
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 100 ml Sheppy's Kingston Black cider
- 6 egg yolks, medium
- 100 g caster sugar
- touch of juice
- Preheat the oven to 200°C Gas 6.
- The first job is to cut all the fruit in half, remove the core and stalks, leave the skin on; this ensures the fruit stay together.
- Place them together into a large bowl and mix with the olive oil and the sugar.
- Tip into a baking tray or large ovenproof frying pan.
- Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft, slightly puffy, but not overcooked; the fruit must remain whole.
- Turn occasionally, but try not to let the fruit break up.
- Next, whisk the eggs, sugar and cider together over a pan of boiling water until thick and cooked. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Finally, add a squeeze of lemon.
- Do not overcook, or the eggs will scramble. Instead, you will end up with a light, frothy sauce.
- Once cooked, keep warm but not hot. I find it best to keep it warm in a Thermos flask.
- To serve, spoon the hot fruit onto a large plate or bowl, then when ready, pour over the froth.
- I like to serve this pudding with Rodda's clotted cream and vanilla ice cream. The hot and cold combination works really well.