Michael Buerk and chef Anna Haugh cook a dish from an Edwardian full English breakfast. And Carolyn Robb cooks a favourite loaf of Prince Charles's.
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Hello, I'm Michael Buerk.
Welcome to a brand-new series of Royal Recipes.
This time, we're at Westonbirt House, formerly a grand country
house, now a boarding school,
which has played host to royal visitors for over 100 years.
In this series, we're delving even further back in time to reveal over
600 years of royal food heritage.
You play Anne Boleyn...
..and I will play Henry VIII.
And we've been busy unlocking the secrets of Britain's great food archives,
discovering rare and unseen recipes that have been royal favourites through the ages.
From the earliest royal cook book in 1390...
It's so precious, so special, that I'm not allowed to touch it.
..to Tudor treats from the court of Henry VIII.
I can't wait for this! One, two, three.
We'll be exploring the great culinary traditions enjoyed by the royal family,
from the grand to the ground-breaking,
as well as the surprisingly simple...
I did think that was going to be a disaster.
..as we hear from a host of royal chefs...
Prince Philip would walk past or pop his head in.
"What's for dinner? What we having?"
Oh, yeah, it's not just a normal kitchen.
..and meet the people who provide for the royal table.
If it's OK for the Queen, it's OK for everyone.
Welcome to Royal Recipes.
This time on Royal Recipes,
we'll be looking at breakfast traditions down the generations,
as we discover how the royal family enjoy perhaps the most important meal of the day.
Imagine eating all this kind of stuff for breakfast.
..Chef Anna Haugh rustles up an Edwardian full-English.
Never doubt me, Michael.
Paul Ainsworth gets a flavour of just what makes a royally good breakfast brew.
I'd have that any day over a cup of coffee.
That is amazing.
And we catch a rare glimpse of some of the oldest cookbooks from the royal kitchen.
There are ingredients like herons and porpoises.
This really is a different time of eating.
Hello, and welcome to the Royal Recipes kitchen.
With me is executive chef Anna Haugh.
There's an old saying, isn't there, Anna, that you should breakfast like a king,
you should lunch like a prince, but you should dine like a pauper?
Now, which of those are you going to do today?
I'm going to do part of an Edwardian full breakfast.
Now, that is a challenge.
I mean, this is an Edwardian full breakfast.
Edwardian, of course, the Edward is Edward VII.
He'd have chicken, he'd have poussin, he'd have guinea fowl,
he'd have woodcock in season.
He'd have what they call meat in jelly.
I think this is pigeon in aspic.
All that and YOU'RE going to do a boiled egg.
Now, Michael, not just any boiled egg.
I'm going to do oeufs en cocotte with smoked haddock.
-OK, doesn't sound like an anti-climax.
How do you do it?
The first thing I'm going to do is poach my natural smoked haddock.
OK, that's not very yellow, is it?
No, if it's yellow, some food colouring has been added.
So, I'm just going to poach this, this won't take long, maybe two or three minutes.
What are you poaching it in?
I'm poaching it in...
Just give my hands a bit of a wash.
I'm poaching it in some milk, drop of cream,
some peppercorns and one bay leaf.
So, I'm going to chop some chives while I wait for that to cook.
I rather ridiculed it as "just a boiled egg", but it's quite a substantial
-dish in itself, this.
I mean, imagine eating all this kind of stuff,
as well as the oeufs en cocotte, for breakfast!
-I can't, I can't.
-Breakfast has evolved so much down the centuries,
-When you had the early Hanoverian kings in the
18th-century, they would have breakfasted off cold meat and cheese and beer.
Well, the water wasn't very safe,
so that was a good excuse for having beer at breakfast.
And then when you got on to the later Hanoverians, the Prince Regent,
he'd have cake and hot chocolate and loads of booze.
-When he died, he was 24st, do you know?
-Oh, my goodness.
-Built like a barrel.
I'm not surprised, if he was eating cake and booze for breakfast!
But it wasn't until the Victorians that we really started to get the
modern breakfast and bacon and eggs and all that sort of stuff.
But Bertie, later Edward VII, he went in for things in a big way.
-Is that boiling over?
-No, it's just about to come up now,
I'm going to take it off. And the liquid...
You live dangerously, Anna. You live dangerously.
The liquid that we're actually cooking the haddock in,
we're going to make a bechamel sauce with.
I like bechamel sauce.
Originally done by a French aristocrat,
and named after a financier in Louis XIV's court.
You're meant to say, "Do you know everything, Michael?"
-Do you know everything, Michael?
-No, but I can look it up.
Oh, guess what? There's butter in this dish.
-Bechamel sauce is basically butter and flour.
-Into a roux.
-And then you cook the roux out just for a few minutes.
And then you pour hot liquid on top.
So, that's kind of a really important part.
It's a common mistake that people make, that they think bechamel is
just, they pour their cold milk on top of it,
and what you'll get is a lumpy bechamel.
It's a lovely, creamy sauce though, isn't it?
-It is a lovely creamy sauce, and it's extremely versatile.
So I'm just going to stir in
probably about half of this, I'd say.
So that is warmed milk?
Yes, this is the actual poaching
-liquid that we cooked our haddock in.
So, this will be a slightly thicker bechamel than I would normally make.
-Because the juices that are going to come out of the fish...
-..when it cooks...
Need soaking up, do they?
-So that's done now, that's cooked out.
-Oh, silky. Silky smooth.
So, I'm going to add almost all of this to the bowl, but I'm going to
save a little bit back.
-Because I'm going to top it up at the end.
So now we're going to flake our fish.
-Into the bechamel?
You don't want to scrunch it up too much, do you?
-No, you want to keep...
-It does come apart beautifully, doesn't it, into those haddock flakes?
It's a wonderful fish, haddock, isn't it?
It is a wonderful fish and the smell of that is just such a nice,
-mellow, pleasing smoked fish.
It's not like a smack in the face that some of those kind of
-artificially smoked and dyed haddock can be like.
So I'll just give it a gentle fold.
So, this is going in the bottom?
This is going in the bottom of our cocottes.
Now, is cocotte the dish?
Cocotte is the dish, but cocotte can be a number of different dishes,
-it doesn't have to be just a dish with a handle.
It could just be like a large ramekin.
But it has to be this, more or less this size?
-More or less this size, and always round, I think, as well. Yeah.
Well, you wouldn't want corners cos you wouldn't be able to get at...
-..get at your lovely sauce, or some of it would escape into the corner, and you
wouldn't get your spoon in there.
-And that would be a real shame, wouldn't it?
Now we're going to crack our beautiful duck eggs.
These lovely big eggs.
Do they have to be duck eggs?
-They don't have to be.
-What's the advantage?
-Duck eggs are bigger.
-There's another definition of cocotte, you know?
-It's a French slang term for a lady of the night.
Anyway, won't go into that. Ah, now, ah!
Some Parmesan just on top.
Ah, now that's going to give it a real...
-..hit of flavour, isn't it?
So it goes into a bain-marie...
..which already has hot water in it, and this will help kind of speed up the process.
Right, so you've already boiled some water a little bit beforehand, so it doesn't have to come up from cold.
-OK, and a bain-marie, it's a bath!
-It's Mary's bath. OK.
-So if you wouldn't mind popping it into the oven?
-Yeah, and it's hot, you say, so I'd better take...
Yes, so it's already hot.
So, oh! One last piece I nearly forgot.
Don't forget. I'm going to put a little bit of...
-Oh, you saved some of the sauce, did you?
-A little bit more sauce to go on top.
I just don't want to waste any of this.
Just go round the edges.
-You've resorted to the whisk now.
-Yes, I have.
If I'm not beating something up, I'm not happy, Michael.
No, I've noticed this. You're a rather aggressive woman on the quiet, I think.
-I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of your whisk.
OK, just a little bit, just on top.
That's a clever idea though, isn't it?
Thank you for saying so, Michael.
-Mmm, mmm, mmm!
-So, do you want to pop that in the oven?
-Yeah, it's hot.
-You'll find another one already in there that you can bring back.
Oven should be at 170 degrees.
-And we'd cook that for ten, maybe 12 minutes.
-Don't burn yourself.
Yeah, thanks very much.
Ah! Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
They look really, really good.
OK, that's great news.
-It's a race against time, this.
-There we go.
-We're going to finish it with some chives.
And I'm actually going to finish it with just a little bit more Parmesan.
-I can't help myself.
-That's a rather nice touch. I love Parmesan, too.
-So do I.
-Going to take them out?
-Yeah. One, two, three.
And I have some toast that I have just prepared for you.
-That looks good.
-So, would you like me to cut them into soldiers for you, since it's breakfast?
Terrific. You have a soldier.
-I have a soldier.
We'll stand to attention.
Oh! Oh, perfect.
-Do you know, I thought for a moment they were hard-boiled.
-You know, I thought you...
Never doubt me, Michael.
I've learnt that, I've learnt that.
-I'm going to balance it on there.
The fishy taste has come up, even though I didn't get any fish that time.
-Love the bechamel.
Love the eggy.
I'm going to eat them separately. Mmm!
Great combination. I don't think I'll have room for the guinea fowl,
the capons, the chickens, the woodcock.
Who needs that when you've got oeufs en cocotte with smoked haddock?
A breakfast fit for a king.
A staple of the royal breakfast table today is a good cup of tea -
a tradition that was established by the middle of the 18th century.
A home-grown cuppa has tickled the taste buds of one of our modern-day royals.
Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth is in Cornwall to find out more about this regal brew.
200 years ago, when society's most fashionable members began to take to
tea, no-one would have ever imagined that, one day, we'd be growing our own.
But that's exactly what's happening right here, just up the road from where I live.
The tea plant is actually a variety of Camellia called Camellia sinensis.
Britain's first tea plantation is in the botanical gardens on the
Tregothnan estate, near Truro.
Jonathan Jones is the man behind the 100-acre project.
So when did you plant the first tea, and how has that evolved over the centuries?
Well, the first Camellias, for ornamental purposes, over two centuries ago,
but the first Camellia for tea was actually only in 1999.
The first tea was produced from that and sold in 2005.
You know, we've had been able to put the Englishness into English tea for the first time...
..you know, create the most British tea in history. And people thought, "Well, who cares about tea?"
But if you're British, it's what in our veins, almost.
We grow up with it, don't we?
We Brits might drink a lot of tea,
but it's only in the last 20 years that we've started growing it.
And the success of the plantation here is partly due to the Cornish weather.
Why is the climate so good here for growing tea?
If you look at our daily weather temperature,
we're usually warmer than Darjeeling in India,
which is kind of the champagne of tea.
So we have lots of things growing here, bigger and better than they actually do in the Himalayas.
The estate here has been owned by one family, the Boscawens, for nearly 700 years.
Renowned as botanical innovators,
they cultivated the UK's first outdoor Camellias,
so it's no surprise they pioneered British tea growing.
But before Paul gets to try a brew, there's picking to be done.
Hard work, but therapeutic, isn't it?
-Yeah, thank you very much.
-Is there a cup of tea at the end of this?
-There definitely is.
-I hope so!
So, Jonathan, have you come to the attention of the royal family?
Yes. In fact, the royals drink a lot
-of tea, and they love it, and this bush right here...
-..was planted by Prince Philip.
And six or eight weeks ago, we processed this especially for him,
presented it as the most royal tea ever grown in the UK.
And the taste was amazing, thank goodness, and he actually said...
"Mmm, tastes like tea".
Once the tea leaves are plucked, for a black tea
they're allowed to wither before being rolled and then dried.
-And the smell should be great, isn't it?
-Oh, man, yeah. That's amazing.
The amount of rolling and drying is one factor in determining how the tea will taste.
I imagine, even like that,
you could pour some hot water over that, let it infuse.
-That would be quite green.
-But if you kept it a few hours...
-In fact, accidentally I often put it in my pocket or coat pocket.
And next morning, I think, "Where's that tea smell coming from?"
Please tell me you take it out your pocket.
-Put it in a cup and have a cup of tea, do you?
Course I do.
From bush to cup,
the process of making black tea can be as little as 36 hours.
Paul and Jonathan have a selection of home-grown teas to mix together
to make a breakfast brew.
It doesn't look very strong, but this will blow their socks off. So, a little bit of that.
It's a punchy, complex tea that can withstand a dash of milk and compete with coffee.
We've got now six or so different gardens
in here from around the estate.
We put a little bit of Assam in there, about 5-10% of Assam leaf from Assam itself.
-And that should complete the blend and be a true breakfast tea.
-Fit for royalty, in fact.
So, tell me, Jonathan, other than Prince Philip planting a bush here,
what other royal connections are there?
Prince Charles, the other day, in fact only on Tuesday,
tasted some of our new breakfast tea.
Does he have a favourite?
Earl Grey. Loves it with honey.
So, now we've got this infused, let's see what we've got.
-And there's liquor... Looking good.
And the smell?
That is amazing.
So now we have to taste.
You are a master. That was all by eye, as well!
That is lovely. I'm sorry,
but I'd have that any day over a cup of coffee.
-Fantastic, a result!
-Yeah, I would, I would.
That is amazing.
A breakfast tea that makes a stir in Buckingham Palace, and gets the Paul Ainsworth seal of approval.
How can we possibly top that?
A recipe combining coffee, bacon and polenta might just do it.
Anna, you've got a dish now that doesn't use tea, it uses coffee,
the other thing that gets people up in the mornings.
-What are you going to do?
-Can I take your tea?
I'm going to do coffee and maple-glazed bacon,
which is a really good brunch dish.
Brunch. Not breakfast, but brunch.
-So, how does it go?
So, I'm going to roast some tomatoes first.
So, I'll cut them in half.
Now, this goes well with bacon?
-What's the story here?
-This absolutely goes well with bacon.
I think it's the kind of natural sweetness of tomatoes that make the
saltiness of the bacon sing,
so they're a good marriage.
Well, bacon, you know, it's kind of everybody's favourite breakfast thing, you know, butties in the
morning and everything. I mean, not just us but the royals as well.
-You remember Prince Harry was best man at William's wedding?
Well, he was put in charge of some of the wedding festivities and all
that sort of stuff, particularly the following morning,
where he organised very special bacon butties for what I think he called the party survivors.
The bacon was special because it was called peameal bacon.
It was cured with ground, dried peas.
But it used to, in the olden days, be a way of curing bacon before
refrigeration, so you could ship it abroad. And that's what they had the morning after the wedding.
-But you're doing something slightly different.
-That's right, yeah.
-So I've just seasoned the tomatoes before we pop them in the oven.
-And I'm going to put a little of pepper on them, which is quite nice.
And some thyme...
just over the top, you don't have to do much,
just leave the thyme over the top of tomatoes, so they'll just kind of infuse with the flavour.
-But what's really important is a drizzling of olive oil.
So this will actually help the thyme kind of get inside the tomato.
-Kind of infuse the tomato.
-So this goes in the oven?
-Yeah. If you want to pop that in the oven, it should be at 180,
and I think about 6-8 minutes...
-They should be done.
-Here we go.
Right. Where's the bacon?
So, yeah, we're just heating up our pan. The pan needs to be really hot.
-That bacon smells wonderful.
-Smells really good, good smoked bacon.
-Now this is streaky bacon?
-Yes. I'm a big fan of streaky bacon.
The ratio of fat and meat just makes it so much more tasty.
-Oh, and it smells so wonderful, doesn't it?
There's something about bacon in particular.
-Yeah. Good-quality bacon.
You can always tell by the water content that's in it.
So if this was a lesser quality bacon, by now,
water would be coming out of it,
where you can still see that, this smoke that's coming off, is that it's frying.
We've become really quite keen on going out for breakfast and brunch.
Apparently we spend £76 million a day going out for breakfast and brunch.
-So I'm going to strain off a little bit of this fat.
But also I'm going to add the coffee in now.
Now... Is that just the flavour, or, what's the story with the coffee?
-I really believe that coffee is a great flavour to go with bacon.
Not too much.
Not too much.
But, yes... When I would ever cure my own bacon at home,
I would always put coffee and maple in the cure.
And what is it about the combination of those two flavours, do you think?
-Well, I actually think maple tastes of coffee, if you have a smell there.
-Yeah, I will.
I actually think maple is a similar flavour as coffee.
-Yes. There is something similar to it.
Yeah, I hadn't, I'd never thought of that before.
-And it all says, "Breakfast."
-That's looking really...
-Yeah, this is looking good.
These are just about ready.
-Actually, maybe we should check on those tomatoes?
-Yep. Yes, yep, yep, you're right.
-How do they look?
-They look pretty good to me.
Yep. Yeah, look at this.
And they smell nice, too.
-Where do you want them? Here, there?
-On that board would be perfect.
-On this one? OK.
-There we go.
-So, next I'm going to make the polenta.
-There's lots of different ways to make polenta.
-So, today I'm going to make it with chicken stock...
-Yeah. Why chicken?
-..and a little bit of butter. I just think the flavour goes really well with bacon.
But perhaps closer to dinner time you might want to add more dairy,
maybe a bit of milk, some Parmesan, things like that, a heavier version of it.
But this is the lighter one?
But this is a lighter, brunch-er version.
Now, tell me what you have to watch out for with polenta.
Well, you need to be fast when you first add it in and then it's about
kind of stirring it every so often to make sure that it's fully cooked.
I'm going to put a pinch of salt in our stock, for seasoning.
And you want to bring your liquid up to boil,
so I'm going to shoot the polenta in really quickly and just give it a whisk, and...
-The one thing you don't do gradually.
Important to really stir it around and whisk it up at this stage? Why?
-Yeah, because you don't want it to go lumpy.
-You can almost see the polenta sucking the liquid in, can't you?
-Yeah. That's it.
Thickening up almost immediately.
Oh, gosh, yes, look at that.
-As it starts to thicken...
-..I'll start to add in a little bit of butter.
Just gives it a bit more richness.
I think it's looking good though, Anna.
Yeah. It is looking pretty good.
Right. We are ready to serve.
-Oh, yes, look at the way it's sliding gracefully down, isn't it?
And we have our beautiful, crispy glazed bacon,
which is what you always want.
And then we have our tomatoes.
-Oh, that's terrific, isn't it?
And would you have this with some crusty bread, or what?
Absolutely. Crusty bread, a nice cup of tea.
Well, I was thinking more of a glass of wine, if it was brunch!
And then, just to reinforce that lovely thyme flavour,
a bit of thyme on top.
-Are you ready?
-More than ready.
-There you have it, you have...
..coffee and maple-glazed bacon.
-I love bacon.
-Do you? So do I.
-Can I get in there?
Oh, that's really nice, isn't it?
-The bacon has got that marvellous bacon tang.
There's just an overlay of glazing and sweetness.
And a bit of the tomato for...
..another bit of freshness, and the thyme...
-..is just wonderful...
..as a taste on the top. Fabulous for brunch.
Fabulous for the survivors of a royal wedding party!
That's what I'm going to have for breakfast next! ANNA LAUGHS
Rich and luxurious.
This is a royally tasty upscaling of that great breakfast staple,
the bacon butty!
A good bacon sandwich requires good bread, and Prince Charles, it seems,
is very particular about his bread.
Carolyn Robb, a former private chef to the Prince and Princess of Wales
and their children, remembers rising to the challenge to cook the
family's favourite loaf.
Today I'm making soda bread, which is a great favourite of mine, and it
brings back a lot of fond memories from making it at Highgrove for the Prince of Wales.
It was his favourite bread and it was something that we always had around.
It's really quick, you just mix everything together and it goes straight into the oven.
First of all, I'm putting the plain white flour in.
Sieve that through.
OK. I'm also going to sieve the malted granary flour,
although it's got bits in it.
It's still good just to pop it through the sieve.
And before I put that through,
I'm also going to add in two teaspoons of bicarb.
And I'm going to sieve this now.
I'm going to add in a teaspoon of salt.
I've got some nice sea salt crystals.
Now I'm going to put the fresh herbs in.
It was one of the nicest things about making bread at Highgrove,
meant you could leave the kitchen for a while and go out in the garden
to pick some fresh herbs, which I always really enjoyed.
Next I'm going to add in some chives.
Obviously, chives bring a slightly onion-y flavour to the bread.
But it's quite subtle.
I've added the herbs in, next I'm going to add a little bit of butter.
Now, the last thing to do is to add in the liquid.
Most breads, you spend a lot of time kneading it,
whereas with this bread, it's the opposite.
We don't want to overwork it, so the less handling it has,
the more soft the bread will be.
So I'm just going to mix this in with a knife.
This is buttermilk. If you can't get buttermilk, or don't have any, it
does work with yoghurt or yoghurt and milk, as well.
And it's really important that once the liquid's been added, we work
really quickly. As soon as you do that, the bicarb starts to activate.
I'm going to tip the dough out onto the board...
..and finish off working it by hand.
It's a fine line between getting it just right and just too sticky or just too dry.
Another thing I really enjoyed about making this bread was that the flour
that we used came from Shipton Mill.
They used to mill the wheat from Highgrove there, so
it was very special to be able to go out and buy bags of flour where you
knew that the wheat was actually home-grown.
Never used such good flour as that anywhere else.
Once Carolyn has shaped the dough into a large ball,
she places it on a buttered baking sheet...
I'm going to slash it that way.
..and cuts a traditional cross into the dough...
And it's nearly done.
..before sprinkling it with sesame seed and linseed.
She then pops it into a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
Dead dog. Oh, Pippy!
The soda bread is baked for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden.
I'm just going to test to see if this is cooked.
The way we do that is turn it upside down and tap it.
And it makes a really nice hollow sound, so we know that that's cooked.
When I made the bread for Prince Charles, we would either make it into sandwiches...
He had a very special sandwich that he always had at lunchtime -
really delicious, with home-made pesto and Parmesan.
Otherwise, it was used for toast.
It looks perfect inside.
So you can see a little bit of mottling from the fresh herbs in the bread.
And you can also see the nice crunchy bits from the malted granary flour.
The only way to really test this is to try a piece, which I will do now.
And I do love warm bread.
It's very difficult to stop at one piece when it's just out of the oven.
That's really nostalgic. That takes me back.
That lovely smell of thyme and the malted granary flour definitely
takes me back to my time in the kitchens at Highgrove.
There's an endless fascination, isn't there, Anna, with these
glimpses into the inner workings of the royal family?
Yeah. I think people want to kind of feel like they are real human...
Or they can see similarities in them and their family, and that makes them feel, I guess, more connected.
A bit different from us, though, if you get into some of their tastes and everything.
-Prince Charles is said to have, anyway, whenever he goes away...
..have a breakfast box with six kinds of honey in it.
That's pretty picky and fastidious.
Yes, it is. But maybe I'm a little bit like Charles. I like to bring tea wherever I go.
-Oh, you do this too?
-Yes, I do, so, you know.
-What kind of tea?
-Tea from home.
-The same tea that I drank when I was a young girl.
But actually, we tend think this is all very modern, you know,
the mass media and what Prince Charles does, and all that sort of stuff.
But we actually know quite a lot about what Queen Victoria liked and
didn't like, because her diaries were published.
I mean, she liked, for instance, something called Brussels biscuits.
-Now, what are they?
-It's kind of similar to a biscotti. It's a twice-baked biscuit.
-Yeah, so it has a nice crunch.
-Snappy and crunchy.
Another thing she liked, apparently, was marrow.
-I'm not talking about, you know, the sort of...
..courgette. Actually, these things.
-Now, marrow on toast?!
Delicious. Instead of butter, marrow on toast.
It feels as though we know a lot more today about royal domestic life
because of, I don't know, the newspapers, the radio,
the television and their interest.
But excerpts from Queen Victoria's diaries were published during her lifetime.
And these documents fulfilled much the same purpose in the past as they do today -
Revealing selected titbits about her favourite snacks was a way of giving
the nation the tiniest peep behind the palace walls.
But it wasn't the first time the lid had been ever so carefully lifted on
the secrets of the royal kitchen.
Social historian Dr Polly Russell went to the British Library to leaf
through a regal cookbook from 1655.
This beautiful little book here is called The Queen's Closet Opened.
And it was written by someone called WM.
Now, the queen that it's referring to is Henrietta Maria.
And its intent, aside from being a cookery book,
was really to try and rehabilitate Henrietta Maria in the eyes of the nation.
And what the book does is invite you into the most intimate private space of the queen.
It was published in 1655,
by which time Charles I had been executed,
and Henrietta Maria was living in exile.
But once Puritan rule had taken over in Britain, there was an opportunity
to try and bring her back as a domestic goddess.
There are two parts to this book in the first edition.
The first is about medicinal remedies.
The second part of the book was for conserving and preserving, and
making sweets, and some of the examples would be to candy suckets
of oranges, lemons, citrons and angelica.
Well, given that sugar is fantastically expensive, and that oranges and lemons
would also have to be imported from abroad,
you get a sense of how wealthy you would have to be to be able to make much of this food.
With the monarchy overthrown,
it was the perfect time for some positive royal PR.
The public's interest was piqued and the book was a commercial triumph.
This small, very beautiful, cookery book played its part in re-establishing the royal family.
this isn't the first time that we have evidence of cookery being
important in establishing the reputation of the royals.
The British Library is also home to the oldest English cookery book in existence.
It's so precious, so special, that I'm not allowed to touch it.
Only a specially trained conservator can actually hold it.
It's a 20-foot vellum scroll, vellum being calfskin,
written by the scribes of Richard II in 1390.
I mean, this is absolutely thrilling.
Now, the scroll is called The Forme Of Cury,
which was the medieval word for cookery,
and this really is a document which takes us back into the medieval kitchen.
There are 196 recipes,
ingredients like cranes and herons and porpoises.
I mean, this really is a different time of eating.
The 14th century was a tumultuous era.
Up to half the population had been wiped out by the Black Death, and
the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 had rattled the ruling classes.
The scroll and its recipes were designed to emphasise the power of
the royal family and cement the status quo.
There's a recipe for something called pomme d'orange,
which was effectively a sort of pork meatball, roasted and turned on a
spit, while somebody would have painted it with a mixture made of
spinach, that would have effectively created a green ball that would have looked like an apple.
And so, these kind of games and trickery -
evidence that Richard II is powerful and clever and important.
Another book featuring recipes from the court of the restored king,
Charles II, was a reflection of the public's fascination with all things royal.
Lamb's Royal Cookery, published in 1710,
contains recipes from one of the longest-serving royal chefs of all time, Patrick Lamb.
There's a recipe here for olio.
It involves neck of mutton, pork,
six whole cabbages, two dozen larks.
I mean, it's quite extraordinary, and in the end you pile it in to
some enormous sort of mountain of flesh and vegetables,
and then you put hog's ears and trotters on the top.
So Lamb's food is absolutely about display.
However, in amongst this extraordinary opulence, there's a
recipe here for spinach toast. It involves cooking spinach and mixing
that with eggs, and topping that onto bread,
so it sounds almost as though it could be a snack.
Featuring everything from the smallest dish to the most lavish
banquet, books like these certainly had the potential to shape public
opinion of the monarchy,
and some of the recipes have stood the test of time,
including a centuries-old royal snack -
an apricot-glazed apple pastry.
-Now, Anna, you're going to make a recipe from Patrick Lamb.
Remember, he was the chef to four monarchs in the 17th century,
produced a cookbook, got it here.
Didn't call them recipes, look, they were called receipts...
..in all the particular branches of cookery now in use in the Queen's palaces.
So I'm going to make taffety tart today.
-It's a delicious, I guess you could say, snack,
-perfect for elevenses.
And the first thing that I'm going to make is the caramel to cook the apples.
So I'm going to put the sugar into the pan.
-The pan is already quite hot now...
-..so that it will hurry up
the kind of caramel process.
-And then, as it starts to melt, I will then add the butter.
And then, when the butter is melted, I will add our apples and we'll
caramelise them down, so they're nice and soft.
Although it's out of Patrick Lamb's sort of 17th-century cookbook,
I think it goes back a lot further than that, 100, 200 years earlier
on - Tudor times, Henry VIII, Elizabeth and all that kind of thing.
Really old recipe, this.
But it's hard to believe that something with so much kind of technique
could have been done all those years ago. So, if you have a look at the
-pan now, you can see the caramel is changing colour.
-And you can smell that kind of lovely...
-..caramel buttery smell. It's perfect.
-You reckon it's pretty sophisticated for a very old recipe?
-I would say this is pretty sophisticated.
-Tough to do?
-Tough to... Well, can you do it, Michael?
Apples going in now.
-You can see lovely, hot, foaming caramel.
-The apples are going to go in now.
-Now, what apples are they?
These are Bramley apples, so they are quite tart.
So, as this is cooking down, I'm going to cut the pastry.
-So we have some puff pastry over here. Now, instead of using
-flour we're actually going to use icing sugar.
-Yeah, I saw you scattering the icing sugar.
So this is kind of a, I guess,
another way of rolling pastry, but that, it adds, like, just a little
bit more sugar into the pastry because, traditionally, puff pastry doesn't really have any sugar in it.
-So I'm going to just give it a little roll.
-This is a snack for somebody with a sweet
-tooth, isn't it?
-All that caramel and all this icing sugar and everything.
-Here we go.
-OK, so I'm just going to cut it around.
All this sugar, of course, would have made it very, very expensive
in 17th-century and even 18th-century terms.
Well, I think we take for granted the convenience that we can just buy
-a bag of sugar down the road.
-But I mean, where sugar came from back then
wasn't just down the road, so it wasn't that easy just to get your hands on.
-I mean, it was only the wealthy, really, wasn't it?
So I've cut the disc there, that's ready to go.
So the apple will take probably, I'd say,
another at least five, ten minutes to cook down.
When it's lovely and soft and brown...
..then you need to cool it completely.
You can't make it with a hot mix.
What would happen if you tried?
Well, the pastry would fall apart, you know,
the butter in the pastry would melt.
So I actually have a bit of mix that I made earlier on.
-All that I'm going to add to this now...
-Oh, that's lovely and brown.
-Nice and brown, caramelised.
-Can I have a sniff? Oh, yeah.
Well, it's going to smell even better now, when I add a little bit of lemon zest.
So a bit of lemon zest goes in just to give it a bit more, kind of,
-of a perfume flavour, lift it a bit.
Give that a bit more.
OK. And now I'm going to give it a stir and then I'm going to spoon the mix on.
Are you doing at exactly the way they did it in the 17th century, do you think?
Would Patrick Lamb, if he was looking over your shoulder, say, "Yeah, do it that way"?
Well, this is my version, so...
-I'm sure he would approve.
-I'm sure he would approve, yeah.
I'm going to put a little bit more apple in it now,
and then I'm just going to egg-wash the edges to kind of seal the next layer on top.
That looks really rich, doesn't it?
Yeah, and it smells good.
-So you're going to place the top of the pastry...
..on top there.
-Just give it a little bit of a...
-Make it all neat.
-..a little bit of pressure.
-That looks really, really good.
Then place another sheet of greaseproof on top...
..and then your baking tray on top again, because you want to kind of
give it a nice bit of pressure, so it's lovely and flat, and Michael...
-But it's relatively simple, isn't it? I mean...
-..Patrick Lamb did these fantastically
elaborate coronation dinners and everything, but this was when he was just doing snacks.
Yeah, well, for a snack, I think it's still quite an elaborate snack.
If you think this is instead of having a simple biscuit at, you know, 11 o'clock, that
this is, you know, a bit of work, puff pastry, caramelise your apples.
A super chef's dish.
-Fit for a queen?
-Fit for a queen.
So we're going to bake that in the oven at about 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
-OK, now what are you up to?
-So, our glaze has come up to boil now,
-so this is ready.
-That looks wonderfully gloopy, doesn't it?
Yeah, it's delicious. I love a bit of apricot glaze.
-OK, so I'm just going to brush this on top.
-And this just gives it a lovely shine.
-Gives it a lovely finish.
-It's going to make a mess, though, isn't it?
-Well, I don't think so. I think we might fare well...
All down the front, you know? I think the dark jumper is perhaps a big, big, big mistake.
OK, so give this a nice...
Ooh, doesn't that sound good?
-Ooh, this looks good.
-Ooh, I'd rather have this than a ginger biscuit at 11 o'clock!
So what goes very nice with this is some caramelised apple, which is lovely.
Little bit of even more sweet there.
But these are sweet apples,
these aren't Bramley apples that we're garnishing this with.
And then we're going to have a little bit of clotted cream.
Not for slimmers, this one, is it?
No, certainly not.
And there you have it, taffety tart with caramelised apples and clotted cream.
Why taffety, by the way?
Well, I think it got its name from taffeta, the material,
because it was similar in appearance.
It was lovely and kind of smooth and had this kind of crisp,
stiff kind of texture of it.
-But how do we get at it?
-Here we are.
-I've got a knife!
-Shall I go in first?
-I'm sorry, Michael.
-No, no, no, no, chivalrous to the end.
Ooh! I just love the crunch of that.
The sound is just glorious.
-Now, is that, er...?
That is so good. You can have a nice little spoon there, Michael.
-That's smaller than your spoon, I notice.
That way, I can have more.
-The caramelised apple is just perfect.
Oh, yeah. That's a good one.
-Oh, try it with the clotted cream.
-In fact, I'm going to try it again.
-I should have said I haven't.
-Ooh, it's squidgy but flaky.
Come on, you little beauty.
-With recipes like this, you can quite see why he was a chef to four monarchs.
All the way from the 17th century, but perfect for today.
Have it for elevenses. Skip lunch.
Join us next time for more Royal Recipes.
On today's show, presenter Michael Buerk and chef Anna Haugh cook a dish from an Edwardian full English breakfast. Dr Polly Russell leafs through some precious manuscripts at the British Library to learn more about royal eating habits, and former royal chef Carolyn Robb cooks a loaf that's a favourite of Prince Charles's.