Scones with Cherry Preserves | Tea Party Recipes


With March approaching, Miss Meredith Sweetpea is greatly anticipating the upcoming Cherry Blossoms that so delightfully decorate our landscape. To celebrate, let’s enjoy this recipe for Scones with Cherry Preserves.

heart-shaped-scones-Meredith-Sweetpea

Heart-Shaped Scones with Cherry Preserves

Cupid’s Scones
with Cherry Preserves*

  • 4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (1 stick + 3 TBSP) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • Sugar crystals for garnish
  • Devonshire cream and cherry preserves for serving

– Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease well.

– Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture is the texture of cornmeal.  Add buttermilk and mix until a soft dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly-floured board until it holds it shape, being careful not to overhandle the dough.

– Roll out to 1/2″ thickness and cut with 2 1/2″ heart-shaped cutter.  Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar crystals.

– Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with Devonshire Cream and cherry preserves.

Makes 12-16 heart-shaped scones

–*Excerpted from “Taking Tea With Alice: Looking-Glass Tea Parties and Fanciful Victorian Teas,” by Dawn Hylton Gottlieb & Diane Sedo.

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Hot and Healthy Winter Tea Recipes | Proper Tea


There is nothing like a hot cup of tea, a good book, and a roaring fire…all at the same time. That is how Meredith Sweetpea enjoys a wintery day. Pull up your most comfortable chair toward the fire, spread an afghan across your legs, and get your your toes good and toasty as you lose yourself in a warm cuppa and a winter’s tale.

Here are some hot and healthy winter tea recipes you can enjoy: Continue reading

Sugar Plums Recipe | Tea Party Recipes


Meredith Sweetpea remembers reading Clement Clark Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” this time of year. It begins like this…

"...while visions of sugar plums danced in her head..."

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,

Now, Meredith Sweetpea thought that sugar plums were candy…didn’t you?  But come to find out, there is an actual recipe for sugar plums. Delicious plums rolled with other ingredients and served covered with powdered sugar.

Here’s the recipe from the November 2007 issue of Saveur Magazine for you to try at home. You might want to re-sugar them just before eating, as the sugar plums tend to absorb the powdered sugar.

Make some delicious sugar plums

Sugar Plums Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups whole almonds
1⁄4 cup honey
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then finely chop.

2. Meanwhile, combine honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds, apricots, and dates and mix well.

3. Pinch off rounded teaspoon-size pieces of the mixture and roll into balls. (Rinse your hands often, as mixture is very sticky.) Roll balls in sugar, then refrigerate in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers for up to 1 month. Their flavor improves after ripening for several days.

Moroccan Mint Tea | Tea Recipes


Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccans love their mint tea,  which they sip throughout the day in cafes and souks (marketplaces). It is usually served at home at the end of a meal or with sweets.

Moroccan Mint Tea is made with Chinese Gunpowder Tea, which got its name from the popping noise the tightly-rolled leaf pellets made when infused. Here is a simple recipe that you can try at home.

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

Make in a 3-cup teapot, serves six.

  • Warm the tea pot with hot water. Discard water.
  • Add to the pot:
  1.      1 tablespoon of Gunpowder Tea
  2.      1/3 cup sugar,
  3.      a handful of fresh spearmint leaves.
  • Add boiling water, cover and steep for three minutes. Stir and serve.

Tea Sandwiches | Tea Recipes


Meredith Sweetpea likes to hold afternoon tea for her friends, serving up a delightful variety of tiny tea sandwiches. Most of her friends have never tried these nibbles, and croon in pleasure as they enjoy them, along with dainty sweets and scones.

Here are some of her favorite tea sandwiches:

  • Thinly sliced cucumber and cream cheese with dill on pumpernickel bread.
  • Smoked turkey with cranberry (or other fruit) mayonnaise on wheat bread.
  • Shrimp salad with dill on oatmeal bread.
  • Chicken salad with almonds on white bread.
  • Curried chicken with walnuts on white bread.
  • Goat cheese and watercress and pecans on raisin bread.
  • Tuna salad with dill on pumpernickel bread.
  • Sliced hard boiled eggs with bibb lettuce and herb mayonnaise on wheat bread.
  • Stilton cheese and pear slices on dill bread.
  • Cream cheese with walnuts and dates on date nut raisin bread.
  • Tomato with basil with mayonnaise on dark bread.
  • Deviled egg salad with a touch of cayenne pepper on dark bread.

Pick a couple of types of sandwiches for a nice taste treat and presentation. Try to mix the varieties, such as serving a vegetable, meat and seafood variety at one tea.

You may want to spread the bread to taste, with a thin layer of mayonnaise, vinaigrette, cream cheese, or other spread.

Create an eye-pleasing presentation by using a tiered serving tray or your best china and tea service. Layer the varieties of sandwiches and different bread colors in a complimentary pattern.

Meredith Sweetpea loves Pepperidge Farm’s Party Breads that come in Jewish Rye and Dark Pumpernickel. They are the perfect size for tea or finger sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half if filled. Serve whole if serving an open-faced sandwich.

Otherwise, cut your favorite sandwiches into either strips or quarters for easy serving and eating.

English Lemon Curd | Tea Recipes


Meredith Sweetpea asks: What is a scone without lemon curd? Here is a recipe from The Savoy in London, England that you can make make and enjoy with your scones.

  • 3 ounces (6 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
  2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170 degrees on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.
  3. Remove the curd from heat; stir in the zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming, and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Traditional English Scones | Tea Recipes


Traditional scones aren’t sweet, and they’re never made with chocolate chips or sprinkled with sugar before baking.  Makes 8 to 10 large scones or 12 to 14 smaller ones.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (or run regular granulated sugar through a food processor to make it fine)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: currants, raisins, cranberries, almonds, pecans, orange or lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (no need to grease if it’s a Teflon surface)
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles small 1/2-pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and add other ingredients like raisins or nuts, or leave plain. (Don’t add zests at this step.)
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and cream and any fruit zest.
  6. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir to form large, moist clumps of dough. Press dough together with your hands until dough comes together.
  7. Using a biscuit cutter or your hands, make scones in rounded clumps to your liking, either 2 inches or 4 inches in diameter and 1/2- to 1-inch thick, so it looks like a rounded biscuit. Place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake until scones are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Meredith Sweetpea recommends enjoying these scones with clotted cream, jam (never jelly or preserves), or lemon curd.

— From the Pump Room, Bath, England

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