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Tea Bar

Tea Bar
From Giada de Laurentiis

Mint, and Earl Grey teas
Amaretto liqueur
Simple syrup, recipe follows
Candied lemon peel, recipe follows
Whipped cream, recipe follows

  1. On a large serving tray, arrange the teapots alongside the bottle of liqueur, a small pitcher of simple syrup, the bowl of whipped cream, and a plate of the candied lemon peel.
  2. Invite guests to sample different teas and flavor them as they desire.

Mint Tea:
3 cups water
1 cup fresh mint, bruised with the back of a spoon

  1. Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat. Add bruised mint leaves and allow to steep.

Serves 3-4.

Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar

  1. In a saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup.
  3. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cook's note: For the afternoon tea, make a double batch of simple syrup. Reserve half for the tea bar and use the other half to make the candied lemon peel.

Makes 1 cup.

Candied Lemon Peel:
2 lemons
1 cup simple syrup, recipe above

  1. Using a vegetable peeler cut the yellow part of the lemon from the stem end down to the navel end, forming long 3/4 to 1-inch strips.
  2. Bring a heavy small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peels and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Drain and then rinse the peels under cold water. Repeat cooking the peels, 2 more times, in the saucepan with fresh boiling water and rinsing under cold water.
  4. In the same pan combine the peels with 1 cup of simple syrup. Simmer over medium-low heat until the peels are soft, about 15 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, transfer the peels to parchment paper to dry slightly, about 1 hour.

Makes 12 to 16 strips.

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat to combine.
  2. Transfer the whipped cream to a serving bowl. (The whipped cream can be made up to 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
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