To celebrate the arrival of Spring I am planning an afternoon tea party this weekend. After guzzling down way too many beers last Saturday during the St. Patrick's Day festivities, I felt it was time for an elegant afternoon of relaxed entertaining. While a stuffy image of little old ladies in oversized hats may come to mind when you think tea party, my tea time is going to be modern, chic, and youthful. To set the mood I sent a floral present shaped invitation to my friends requesting their presence and asking that they sport floral prints. Whenever I plan a party after I'm done with the invite I move on to arranging the menu. Food is an integral piece of any party and I'll be offering my guests classic tea time snacks. To see my scone and tea sandwich recipes,
I'll set up a buffet of several scones and tea sandwiches. The menu should be light because the party is after lunch and to best pair with the teas I'll be pouring. I'll plate classic
and have small silver bowls of jams and creams to top these scones. Crustless triangle finger sandwiches will be filled with smoked salmon or fresh turkey.
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream or milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cream or milk
Jam or Preserves
Clotted or Whipped Cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
- In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick.
- Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections. Alternatively, you can cut the dough into rounds with a 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) cookie cutter.
- Make a glaze of one well-beaten egg with 1 tablespoon cream or milk. Brush the tops of the scones with this mixture. This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.
- Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and then turn your broiler on high. Sift confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar heavily over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with Devon cream or softly whipped cream and your favorite jam.
Makes 8 triangular scones or 10 - 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round scones.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chives, chopped fine
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream
- Heat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift or mix the dry ingredients, including the Parmesan and chives.
- Chop the butter into small squares and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers until texture is like tiny peas or marbles. (Alternate method: put the dry ingredients and butter into a food processor and blend until well mixed. This has the benefit of keeping the butter cold.)
- Add the egg and cream and mix with your hands just until the dough barely holds together.
- Turn out onto a floured countertop and shape into a rough wheel. Again, handle the dough as little as possible; if it's lumpy and floury that's OK.
- Cut the wheel into small triangles and put on the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or lightly golden.
Makes 1 dozen.
Make ahead: these scones freeze very well.
2 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons minced garlic
5 tablespoons minced scallions (white and green parts)
5 tablespoons minced fresh dill
5 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 loaves dense 7-grain or health bread, unsliced
40 slices smoked salmon
- For the herb butter: combine all the butter ingredients in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until mixed, but do not whip.
- For the sandwiches, have the store slice the bread lengthwise on a meat slicer into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (If that isn't possible, you can slice it crosswise with a very sharp knife.)
- Lay out 40 slices of bread and spread them all with a thin layer of herb butter.
- Place smoked salmon on 20 of the slices. Top with the other 20 slices of bread, butter side down.
- Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and wrap with plastic.
- Refrigerate until the butter is very cold. Place the sandwiches on a cutting board.
- With a very sharp knife, cut off the crusts, cut each large sandwich in half crosswise, and then cut each half diagonally twice to make a total of 40 small triangles. (If the bread was cut crosswise, follow the assembly directions, then cut off the crusts and cut diagonally, twice, to make 20 small triangles.)
- Serve chilled.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup (packed) coarsely chopped arugula leaves plus 30 whole arugula leaves (about 4 large bunches total)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
12 thin slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed
10 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
- Mix mayonnaise, chopped arugula, shallot, parsley and lemon peel in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place bread slices on work surface. Spread mayonnaise mixture on each slice, dividing equally.
- Top 6 bread slices with turkey, dividing equally. Place 5 arugula leaves atop turkey on each.
- Top with remaining 6 bread slices, mayonnaise side down, pressing to adhere. Cut each sandwich diagonally into quarters.
Would anyone like a sweet appetizer? Stay tuned later today I'm featuring a few more recipes for the tea party.