A large breakfast, a satiating lunch and a light dinner – three meals a day is the norm for most people. Sometimes, however, hunger pangs often strike in between the hours of our main meals – leaving us scrambling to put together a quick snack. This is where the English tradition of having afternoon tea comes in handy. Usually consumed between 3 to 5 pm, afternoon tea typically involves a drink, some light sandwiches and refreshments to cater to the untimely hunger pangs. Queen Elizabeth herself enjoyed a simple 2-ingredient sandwich for her afternoon tea ever since she was a little girl. The revelation was made by chef Darren McGrady in a video on his YouTube channel. Take a look:
Darren McGrady is the former royal chef of Buckingham Palace and has worked there for nearly 15 years. He regularly shares some of the favourite recipes from the royal kitchens for his subscribers and fan base. In this video, chef McGrady revealed what would be served at a typical afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace usually including an assortment of sandwiches, a cocktail drink, scones and strawberries with cream. “Even if you aren’t able to enjoy the pristine lawns at Buckingham Palace, these dishes will make your afternoon tea a royal event,” wrote the chef in the description of the video shared last year.
Speaking of sandwiches, the former royal chef revealed that one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite sandwich recipes was a simple preparation that required just three ingredients. Known as ‘Jam Pennies’, this was one of the most-loved recipes that the Queen enjoyed as a little girl. “The Queen was served jam pennies in the nursery as a little girl. She’s had them for afternoon tea ever since,” revealed chef Darren McGrady.
As for the recipe for the Queen’s favourite Jam Pennies sandwiches, chef McGrady revealed it was quite simple. “Just bread with jam and a little butter, usually strawberry jam. We’d make the jam at Balmoral castle the gorgeous Scottish strawberries from the gardens. Sandwich it together and cut it into small circles. They were called ‘Pennies’ after the size of the old English penny,” said the chef in the video.
How simple and delicious right? Sometimes the easiest recipes are the most fondly remembered. This is not the only sandwich that was made for the royal afternoon tea. Chef McGrady revealed another sandwich that was made with cream cheese with a hint of fresh spearmint folded in, and then a layer of thinly peeled cucumber. “Dainty, delicate and delicious! The definition of afternoon tea. Take off the crust and cut it into tiny two-bite sandwiches,” said the chef in the video. Another version of this sandwich is cheese and tomato sandwiches, made with a bit of butter, grated cheese and tomatoes with their seeds and skin removed.
YouTube viewers shared their comments and responses to the Queen’s favourite sandwich. “This kind of eating is just so civilized and refined. It makes me feel important, like a Queen, to eat the same menu,” wrote one user. “Darren, what a joy watching your videos. Your enthusiasm is contagious! It makes the royal food actually interesting. Sorry, I used to think it was boring,” wrote another one.”
What did you think of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite sandwiches? Tell us in the comments.