From homemade custard tarts to halloumi salads. Here's to how take your picnic basket to the next level.
As the weather brightens up, summer clothes are unearthered from their winter hiding places and the word ‘barbeque’ is suddenly bandied around at the tail end of every week, we thought we’d compile some recipes for another British culinary institution – the picnic.
So without further ado, try these mouthwatering recipes this summer – and take your picnic basket to the next level.
And kicking it all off, is celebrity chef Marcus Wearing’s Custard Tart – made famous when he cooked it for the Queen’s official 80th birthday lunch in 2006.
(Cuts into 6-8 slices)
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
230g plain white flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
150g chilled unsalted butter, diced
75g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 medium organic egg beaten with 1 medium organic egg yolk
In a large bowl, gently work the flour and butter together until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and lemon zest, then add the eggs slowly to form a dough.
Gently shape it into a ball, flattening slightly and then wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours before using. This pastry is very fragile, and handles best when well chilled.
9 large organic egg yolks
75g caster sugar
500 ml whipping cream
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
Line a large roasting pan with non-stick baking parchment. Place a buttered 18 x 3.5cm pastry ring (or loose-bottomed tart tin) in the centre. Roll out the pastry, chill for half an hour and then use to line the ring, letting the surplus hang over the top. Chill for another half an hour.
Heat the oven to 1700C fan (1900C/gas 5).
Bake the pastry case blind for 10 minutes until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove the paper and rice, and brush the inside of the party case with the egg yolks. Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 1300C fan (1900C/gas 2).
Next, make the filling. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the cream, mix well and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heavy pan. Warm over a low heat to blood temperature (370C), stirring all the time. Put into a jug.
Put the cooled pastry case, still in the ring, in the parchment-lined pan, on the middle shelf in the oven. Slowly and carefully pour in the custard, filling the case as full as you can – right to the very top. Grate nutmeg liberally all over, to cover the custard completely.
Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes until the custard looks set but not firm – it should have a slight, even quiver across the top when you gently shake the roasting pan. Leave to cool to room temperature, then remove the ring. Cut into neat wedges with a sharp knife to serve.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large roasted pepper from a jar, thickly sliced, or a handful of ready-roasted sliced peppers 200g black, red and pearl Quinola mixed
500ml vegetable stock
small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
250g pack halloumi cheese, cut into 6 slices
Mixed salad leaves
Fresh red and orange peppers finely sliced
Boil the Quinola with stock or Boullion for 14 minutes.
Cut the halloumi into 6 slices and cook in a preheated frying pan, turning occasional until it turns golden brown on each side.
Slice the roasted pepper along with the onion, fresh peppers and parsley and toss together with the salad leaves.
Sprinkle over the cooked Quinola, then add the cooked halloumi and dress with a drizzle of seasame oil and the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
Makes 8 lollies – 2 chocolate, 2 banana cinnamon, 2 strawberry and 2 mixed
For the chocolate:
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of water
2 medjool dates
1 heaped teaspoon of raw cacao powder
For the strawberry:
1 ripe banana
1 cup of strawberries
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of water
2 medjool dates
For the banana cinnamon:
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of water
2 medjool dates
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Remove the stones from the dates and peel the bananas.
Place the ingredients for your chosen flavour into a blender and blend for a minute until smooth.
Pour into an ice-lolly mould and freeze ? do the same for each flavour.
To make the mixed ones simply pour half of one flavour into a mould, allow it to freeze for an hour and then top the mould up with the second flavour.
Freeze for at least five hours.
4-5 large courgettes
1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
50g dried breadcrumbs,
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
290g jar red peppers, drained and chopped
small bunch parsley, chopped
zest 1 lemon
1 large egg
500g minced pork
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp fennel seeds
Cut the courgettes lengthways into thin slices (use a mandolin if you have one), stopping when you reach the seedy middle (set this aside).
Heat a griddle pan. Toss the courgettes in a little oil to coat, then cook in batches until soft and marked with griddle lines.
Drizzle a little oil into an 18cm springform tin and brush all over the base and sides. Line the base with a circle of baking parchment. Use the courgettes to line the tin, overlapping them across the base, up the sides and over the edge you need enough overhang to cover the top and the filling, so you may need to double up on slices up the sides. Scatter 2 tbsp breadcrumbs over the base.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins until softened a little. Meanwhile, finely chop the centre pieces of courgette and add to the pan with the garlic. Cook for about 5 mins until the courgette has softened, then set aside to cool.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Mix the cooled veg, the peppers, parsley, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, egg, pork, chilli, fennel seeds and plenty of seasoning in a bowl. Pack the mixture into the courgette-lined tin, pressing it firmly into the edges and flattening the top try not to move the courgette slices too much. Fold over the overhanging courgettes to cover the top of the pie and press down firmly.
Place the tin on a baking tray some juice may leak out of the tin so you will need the tray to catch this. Bake for 1 hr 15 mins.
Cool in the tin for 10 mins. Remove the pie from the tin, pouring away any juices, and flip over so that the neater side is facing up. Remove the baking parchment and leave to cool completely, then store in the fridge. Transport in a cooler bag and serve in wedges.
2 mangoes, slightly unripe
8 cherry tomatoes
1 punnet of salad cress
25g of coconut, grated
2 tbsp of walnuts, roasted and crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp honey
2 limes, juiced
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, mix together the honey, lime juice and olive oil. Set aside.
For the salad, cut the mangoes and carrot into matchsticks and toss them together in a large salad bowl to mix well.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes and drop them into the salad bowl.Divide the salad onto 4 serving plates and top with the walnuts, salad cress and shredded coconut.
Sprinkle the salad with crushed peppercorns and sea salt to taste. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
250g of strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt7g of dried yeast
10ml of water, at room temperature
50g of sun-dried tomatoes, kept in oil,
1 tbsp of the oil reserved
Add the flour, salt and yeast to the mixer. Using a dough hook, start the mixer on a slow speed and mix for 2 minutes. Add the water, followed by the sun-dried tomatoes and the oil. Mix on a medium speed for 4 minutes. If the dough appears too dry add a dash more water until it comes together and away from the edged of the mixing bowl.
If you don’t have a mixer, bring all the ingredients together by hand and knead for 10-15 minutes to develop the gluten and form a smooth dough.
Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave in a warm area for 25 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in volume, remove from the bowl, place on a work surface and knock the dough back with the palm of your hand.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with the cloth. Repeat the same process after a further 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
After the second knock back, shape the dough into a round ball and place onto a floured baking tray and leave until it doubles in size.
Sift a small amount of flour onto the dough before placing in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cooked. To check if your bread is cooked, tap the base of the bread with your fingers – if it sounds hollow, then it’s ready.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack and then serve.
1 sweetheart cabbage
3 large spears of asparagus
3 spring onions
2 sticks of celery
1 large green eating apple
1 large orange
3 ripe passion fruit, plus extra to serve
2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
For the dressing, finely grate the orange zest into a bowl and squeeze in all the juice. Halve the passion fruit and scrape in the pulp, then add the oil and mix together.
Finely slice the cabbage, discarding the core. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus, then finely slice along with the trimmed spring onions and celery. Peel and coarsely grate the apple and carrot.
Pop all the shredded fruit and veg into a large bowl. Pour over the dressing, mix well and season to taste.
Enjoy straight away, or better still, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days so the veggies soften slightly and the flavours mingle and develop. Mix well before serving and spoon over a little extra passion-fruit pulp, top with shredded spring onions and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
(makes around 14 rolls)
1 Packet Plain Nori Sheets
1 Large Sweet Potato, mashed – or Beetroot Houmous (recipe below)
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
Sliced Vegetables – Kohlrabi, carrot, cucumber, courgette, cabbage, chopped spinach, beetroot or broccoli/cauliflower rice. With crunchier vegetables, slice them thinly lengthways.
Shredded or Chopped Chicken (try marinating in Tamari, Ginger, Ground Coriander, Agave and Olive oil).
Flaked Fish (salmon or tuna), Raw Fish or King Prawns.
Take one nori sheet at a time and lay it flat onto a dry surface.
Spread a layer of sweet potato onto the nori sheet, in a rectangle. Don’t let it get too close to the sides of the sheet.
Next, spread a layer of quinoa on top, followed by the chicken or fish and your vegetables.
Starting with the end nearest to you, being to roll. It can get really messy! Just go with it. Squeeze the rolls with dry hands to ensure they become as compact as possible.
Once rolled, take a really sharp knife and wet it slightly. Holding the roll at one end, slice diagonally down the middle, careful not to put too much pressure on the roll.
2 Tins Chickpeas
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
10 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic – optional
2 Small – Medium Cooked Beetroot, chopped
1 Tablespoon Beetroot Powder or 1 Extra Beetroot, chopped
3 Tablespoons Tahini Juice from 1/2 or 1 Lemon (depending on your personal preference)
Himalayan Pink Salt or Tamari – to taste
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast – optional
1 Teaspoon Mustard – optional
Start by blending together your chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, tahini and mustard, if using.
Blend on a medium to high speed, and add the water gradually.
Once smooth, add the chopped beetroot and blend for a further 2 minutes. Add more water if it isn’t blending smoothly.
12 quail eggs
750g of sausage meat
50g of Dijon mustard
5g of chives, chopped
5g of chervil, chopped
10g of sea salt
1 pinch of ground white pepper vegetable oil, for frying
1 egg, beaten
200g of flour
10g of salt
100g of breadcrumbs
Bois boudran dipping sauce
150ml of rapeseed oil
50ml of white wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
85g of ketchup
100g of shallots, finely chopped
15g of chervil, finely chopped
10g of tarragon, finely chopped
5g of chives, finely chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 drops of Tabasco
Start the scotch eggs by boiling your quail eggs for 2 and a 1/2 minutes. After boiling, refresh the eggs in ice water for 20 minutes, then peel.
In a large bowl, combine the sausage meat with the Dijon mustard, chives, chervil, egg, salt and white pepper.
Lay out the meat on a baking sheet and put another baking sheet on top. With a rolling pin, gently roll over the top baking sheet in order to roll out the meat to about 1cm thick.
Remove the baking sheets and divide the meat into 12 portions. Place a peeled quail egg on each portion of meat and roughly mould the meat around the egg, being careful not to overlap too much. Repeat for each egg.
In three separate bowls, have your egg wash, breadcrumbs and flour mixed with salt, ready. Coat the eggs by dipping each one into the flour, then the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs – rolling the eggs in your hand to keep their shape.
Chill the eggs in the fridge until needed.
To make the bois boudran dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients for the sauce – apart from the tabasco – together in a bowl until combined.Gradually add the tabasco, tasting after every drop to ensure the sauce is not too spicy. Set aside.
To cook the Scotch eggs, fill a large saucepan with vegetable oil to halfway and cook over a low heat. Heat the oil to 180ºC, using a sugar thermometer to check the temperature.
Carefully place your Scotch eggs into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes – or until golden all over.
Remove the eggs from the oil and place onto kitchen towel to dry a little – the Scotch eggs should be golden on the outside and retain their liquid centre. Serve with the bois boudran dipping sauce.
175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g (3oz) hard block margarine or chilled butter, cut into cubes
Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the margarine or butter and rub in gently with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3 tablespoons cold water until the pastry comes together in a ball.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed flan tin. Ideally, use a fluted tin.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220˚C. Prick the pastry case all over with a fork, to prevent air bubbles forming during baking. Line the base and sides with baking parchment and weigh it down with baking beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake the empty case for a further 10 minutes, or until the base is lightly browned. Trim the overhanging pastry.
175g (6oz) unsmoked streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed, cut into strips
1 onion, peeled and chopped
125g (4½ oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
2 large eggs250ml (9fl oz) single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C.
Crisp the bacon in a sauté pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to the cooled pastry case with a slotted spoon. Leave the juices in the pan.
Place the onion in the pan and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes or until golden. Add to the quiche and top with the cheese.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper, then pour into the quiche.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and just set. Be careful not to overcook the quiche, or the filling will become tough and full of holes.
4 purple beetroot (approx. 300g)
4 golden or any other colour beetroot, approx. 300g (the more colours the better)
2 tbsp freshly snipped chives
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
400g goats? cheeseSea salt and black pepper
Line a 10 x 20 cm loaf tin with parchment paper, leaving enough paper hanging over that you can easily cover the terrine when the tin is full.
Scrub the beetroot, then place in a pan, cover with water, pop on the lid and cook for about 30/40 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool, then peel.
Meanwhile, mix all the herbs and garlic with the goat?s cheese in a bowl and season to taste.
Slice the cooked beetroot into various thicknesses, some 3 mm, some 5 mm. Put a layer of golden or candy-coloured beetroots along the bottom of the tin, followed by a thin layer of the garlic and herb goats cheese mix. Do this for 6 layers of each, so you have 12 layers in total, and then start on the purple beetroot and cheese layers until you reach the top. If you have more colours, vary them as you go along.
Pull the parchment paper over so all the terrine is covered. Place a weight on top of the tin and leave in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours to set.
Cover the set terrine with a plate and turn upside down to remove the terrine. Slice and serve or refrigerate the terrine until needed.
9 gelatine leaves
600ml apple juice
4 tbsp golden caster sugar
6 strawberries, hulled and chopped
298g can mandarin segments in juice, drained
200ml single cream
100ml semi-skimmed milk
6 thin slices of cucumber, to serve (optional)
mintsprigs, to serve (optional)
Put 7 gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften for 5 mins. Meanwhile, heat the apple juice in a small pan with half the sugar until steaming. Remove from the heat, squeeze out the water from the gelatine, then add it to the pan, one leaf at a time, stirring until dissolved. Add the Pimm?s and stir again.
Divide the strawberries and mandarin segments between 6 jam jars, pour over the apple juice and Pimm?s mixture, then put in the fridge to set for at least 4 hrs.
When the jelly has set, soften the remaining gelatine as before. Heat the cream, milk and remaining sugar in a pan until steaming. Squeeze out the water from the gelatine, add it to the pan and mix well. Set aside to cool for 10 mins.
Pour the cream mixture over the jellies, then chill for 1 hr.
Top each jelly with a slice of cucumber and a small sprig of mint. Pack into a cooler bag for transporting. Can be made 1 day before serving.
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp ground coffee
25g cocoa nibs
250g ripe bananas (weighed without skins)
100ml sour cream
185g light brown muscavado sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
150g unsalted butter, melted
To make the banana bread, grease a loaf tin with a little butter and line with a strip of parchment paper, so that the ends hang over the long sides of the pan (this makes removal of the cake a lot easier) and preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) 350F.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, coffee and about 2/3 of the cocoa nibs into a bowl and whisk together to combine.
Place the banana into a large bowl and use a fork to mash, until just a few small lumps remain. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth and uniformly combined.
Pour the flour mixture over the banana mixture and gently fold together, mixing until the flour is just combined, but being very careful not to over mix, as this will make the bread chewy and tough.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining banana, simply sliced through the middle and placed on top, cut side showing. Sprinkle the remaining cocoa nibs on top of the cake, avoiding the banana.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out just about clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Kept wrapped in clingfilm in a sealed container this cake will keep for up to three days but can also be frozen for up to a month (I like to freeze it in individual slices and then I can have a piece whenever I fancy).
180g of cacao butter
260g of cashew nuts, soaked for 4?6 hours
120ml of boiling water
The grated zest of 2 oranges
The juice of 1 lemon
40g of lucuma powder
110g of agave nectar or another sweetener
1 tablespoon of vanilla powder
220g of mixed frozen berries
Shave the cacao butter on a grater and melt it gently in a double boiler (or in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water below).
Transfer the melted butter to the jug of a high-powered blender, add the remaining ingredients (except the berries) and blend, using a tamper, until creamy.
Cover the entire base of an 18cm (7in) round cake tin with the frozen berries and pour the blended cream all over the top. Gently rock the tin so that the cream spreads evenly between all the berries.
Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 1 hour to set.
When you are ready to serve, run a small knife between the cake and the internal tin wall to loosen the cake. Place a serving dish face-down over the top of the tin, then flip over the tin and tip out the cake onto the serving dish.
1 x 200g packet creamed coconut
6 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
a pinch of sea salt
100g dried pineapple, snipped into small pieces using scissors
2 tbsp golden or white rum (optional)
75g desiccated coconut, plus extra for the topping
a large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
Place the unopened packet of creamed coconut in a bowl of hot water from the tap for 5 minutes to melt it (massage the packet to help its contents soften). When the creamed coconut is soft all the way through, pour into a bowl and mix in the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, pineapple and rum.
Stir in the desiccated coconut and nutmeg evenly to create a doughy consistency.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with a palette knife or the back of a spoon to level. Sprinkle with the extra coconut to coat.
Set in the fridge for 30 minutes until hard (or longer is fine). Turn out onto a board and slice into 24 pieces.
300g of peanut butter
150g of hazelnuts
300g of medjool dates
2 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of honey
6 tbsp of raw cacao
1 pinch of sea salt
Place all the ingredients into the food processor and blitz until fully combined.
Scrape into a cake tin and place in the freezer for 1 hour then into the fridge until set.
Slice up and enjoy with some fresh raspberries and yogurt. It will last for 2 weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!
4 cooking apples (such as Granny Smith or Bramley), peeled, cored and cut into 810 chunks
5 tbsp plain flour, sifted
5 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 pint/150ml lavender honey
2 sprigs dried lavender
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease and line an 8 inch cake pan with nonstick parchment paper, then place the apple pieces inside. You can make 46 individual mini-cakes, if you prefer.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, olive oil, baking powder and 2 of the eggs, then pour the batter over the apples. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Increase the oven setting to 200ºC/gas mark 6.
Whisk the remaining 2 eggs with the honey, then pour this mixture over the cake. Return to the oven and bake for another 1520 minutes, until golden brown and the tines of a fork inserted into the middle come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and turn out onto a plate while still warm.
1 1/2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1/2 Cup Evaporated Cane Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Table Salt
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/2 Teaspoon Orange Blossom Water
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Freshly Grated Zucchini
Zest of 1 Large Orange
Pre-heat oven to 350F°
Line a 9 X 5 loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper, lay the paper across the width of the pan, letting a bit hang over.
Sift together all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
In a bowl whisk together yogurt, grape seed oil, vanilla, orange blossom water, eggs, and sugar until smooth. Then add in the salt, zucchini, orange zest, and chocolate chips. Add wet mixture to your dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the dry ingredients are just mixed in, fill the loaf pan with the mixture.
Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 50-55 minutes. Once cooled, glaze with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle a bit of orange zest over the top.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoon Fresh Orange Juice
A pinch of Table Salt
A bit of orange zest if desired
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream cheese until softened.
Sift in the powdered sugar, and then add in the remaining ingredients and beat until fully combined.
Set frosting aside until ready to use.