GIVE me bilberry pie and ice cream and I’m immediately transported back home to our family dining table.

When I was growing up bilberry pie was a common summer dessert in our house, filled with bilberries we'd picked ourselves from the North York Moors.

With my mum’s lovely home-made shortcrust pastry and the ice cream melting among the hot juice, it was delicious.

My own bilberry pies don’t live up to my mum’s standards, but they do bring back many happy memories.

As online searches for nostalgic dishes are on the rise, a poll has revealed foods that take us straight back to our childhood and make us feel good.

Jelly comes top of the list, with 42 per cent of us associating it with our youth. Fish fingers and soft-boiled eggs with soldiers came in joint second in the study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Wrigley’s Extra gum

For me, aside from bilberry pie, beans on toast takes me back to being a kid, although they have to be Heinz, with white bread and melting butter. The same goes for tomato soup and a hunk of bread.

I always find comfort in a plate of egg and chips, although again, mine isn’t as appetising as my mum’s. We use oven chips, whereas Mum cooked hers in a chip pan, and her eggs were the perfect consistency.

Stew reminds me of childhood, and, again, my mum’s was the best. On my wedding day she gave me a book filled with her recipes, stew included. “It’s just like your mum’s,” my dad would say, after Mum died, and I’m proud to say it is.

A true taste of childhood came flooding back recently, when, being too tired to make lunch, I stuck some crisps between two slices of bread - something I would regularly do as a child. It was yummy. My brother loved crisp sandwiches - at one time it was all he would eat. For true appreciation, the bread must be thin-sliced white.

The simple combination of jam and bread was named by 30 per cent of people. Jam sandwiches are so easy to make and a staple of childhood, so why don’t we eat more of them as adults?

A few weeks ago I was offered a bowl of Angel Delight. I didn’t know you could still get it. Growing up, we didn’t have such things in our house, but I remember being given it at a friend’s - in a glass not a bowl - and thinking it was the height of sophistication. If I’m honest it tasted artificial and was a disappointment. Fifty years on, it brought back those memories, and yes it still tasted foul.

A fifth of those surveyed in the Wrigley’s poll said enjoying nostalgic treats helped to boost their mood. It’s true - food memories make you feel good.

When I worked in a farm shop I took along a box of Grenadier apples from my garden. A customer bought some and came back for more, saying the taste brought back memories of her home in Ireland and made her feel happy.

The poll found that almost a quarter of us still eat one of our best-loved childhood foods at least once a week. I do - a home-cooked roast dinner, which a third of people associate with childhood. I find a roast dinner oddly comforting. but again, ours are not a patch on my mum’s.

Food nostalgia works the other way too. Many people surveyed said lumpy custard served at school had led to them never wanting to taste it again. I’d say the same for semolina: once bitten, twice shy.