improving the coronation quiche

For the first time in a very long time, Britain (and other countries for reasons I don’t want to get into in a recipe blog) have a new monarch. And as is customary, we will have a coronation ceremony in May 2023. And more importantly for most people, we get a bank holiday. A bank holiday so you can celebrate in your own way whether that’s hosting a street party, a garden BBQ, afternoon tea or throwing eggs at a rich person that you don’t like.

You know what the signature dish was for the 1953 coronation? It was called “poulet reine Elizabeth“, but everyone knows it as coronation chicken. It’s a creamy curry sauce that’s got an Indian vibe and you can either chuck it in a salad or slap it in a sandwich.

coronation 1952 menu

From Le Cordon Bleu cookery school

Apparently, the dish was the brainchild of food writer Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume from the fancy Cordon Bleu cookery school in London. They whipped it up for the queen’s coronation feast. It was inspired by a dish called jubilee chicken, which was created for George V’s silver jubilee back in 1935.

For Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee in 2002, there was another jubilee chicken dish. This one was made by the chefs at Buckingham Palace and was a baked chicken cut into bits and smothered with a mix of creme fraiche, mayonnaise, lime and ginger. They served it up with pasta salad, lime slices, and flat leaf parsley, all packed up in a Waitrose plastic tub.

diamond jubilee chicken

Now, for her platinum jubilee, they had a pudding competition and the winner was a lemon swiss roll and Amaretti trifle recipe. Nice, eh?

For King Charles’ coronation we have the coronation quiche. Perfect picnic fare, this quiche is flavoured with broad beans… and spinach?

Eh. It’s a bit dowdy, isn’t it? Doesn’t reek of celebration or festivities. Likely in the backdrop of cost-of-living crisis with rising energy bills and being squeezed, it was selected as being muted in tone to be a bit more down to earth. But I think we can do better than that, celebrating the best of British produce. While it’s nice to use broad beans it’s a bit… post-war rationing. Why not the undisputed king of British summertime, asparagus? Bang on season and something I wait for every year. And let’s add in some bacon, by the fact that everything is better with bacon. I also think we can do a little more with that pastry, so let’s amp that up. And finally let’s use some precision in the baking. None of this “20-25 minutes until golden”, let’s cook it until it’s actually perfect. With science!

Can you buy the coronation quiche?

I don’t think you can buy the coronation quiche in any shops. The only way to get the real deal is to use the official recipe, or you know, just be invited to the coronation.

my coronation quiche

A celebratory quiche suitable for any gathering or garden party. One of the best things about a quiche is it really doesn't matter when you eat it: straight from the oven hot with a salad, or the next day packed up for lunch.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 6 people



  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g cold butter
  • 25 g lard
  • 25 g cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • milk might need a splash


  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 medium eggs save a tablespoon of it for later
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
  • 100 g grated cheddar cheese
  • 100 g bacon diced
  • 150 g asparagus spears


For the pastry:

  • I use a food processor for speed and to be honest, it's better: add the flour, butter, lard and cheese and pulse until it forms a sandy breadcrumb texture. Whizz in the egg and if needed pulse in the milk until it comes together - be sparing and stop the moment it comes together. If doing by hand, rub fats, cheese and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs, then beat in the egg and milk as required to form a dough.
  • Wrap and allow to rest in the fridge while you get on with everything else.
  • Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon to a dry pan and fry for 4-5 minutes. While this fries, snap off the woody end of the asparagus spears. Then finely slice the stalks but stop at the tips. Add all the asparagus pieces to the pan and continue to stir fry for another 3-5 minutes until softened. Remove to a plate to cool down.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Put the cheese, cream and tarragon in a jug, add salt and pepper and stir well to mix. Hold back about a tablespoon of the egg mix to one side for later.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a British pound coin. Lay into a quiche dish (appropriately enough) or similar and prick the base all over with a fork to stifle it rising. Brush your reserved egg over the base to seal it. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, where it should have gone a biscuity brown.
  • Take the pastry base out and reduce the oven temperature to 140°C.
  • Spread the bacon-asparagus mixture over the base, then pour over the liquid mixture. Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the middle of the quiche gets to 85°C.



You can stop cooking this when you're happy with how golden it is. By using a probe thermometer you can capture it when it's perfectly smooth and not scrambled-eggy.
Keyword eggs, garden party

Want more quiches? I took a lot from this fantastic cheese and onion tart I made years ago. Or take a look at Big Foodie Geek’s video.

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