Sunday, January 14, 2007

Your Northwest High Tea Guide

Not sure how they serve High Tea in your area but this is what we do here in the Northwest. With the help of my Mom, my brother and the book, "If Teacups Could Talk" by Emile Barnes, we make some delectable treats.

Basic Scone Recipe

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2 Cups flour
1 Tble Baking Powder
2 Tble Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
6 Tble Butter
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Egg lightly beaten

Preheat 425

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in center and pour in buttermilk. You could also substitute milk, half-n-half or heavy cream for the buttermilk. Mix until dough clings together and is a bit sticky--do not overmix. Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape a six to eight inch round (about 1 1/2 inches thick). The secret of great scones is minimal handling. Quickly cut into pie wedges or cut with biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper) making sure the scones are not touching each other. Brush will egg for a shiny brown scone. Bake 10-20 minutes or until lightly brown. Serve with Devonshire Cream & Lemon curd!

***You can add anything you want to personalize your scones (i.e. lemon or orange peel, cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, chocolate chips).

Devonshire Cream
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1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tble Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Sour Cream

In chilled bowl, beat cream until med-stiff peaks form. Add sugar when cream is almost ready, continue to beat. Fold in sour cream. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd, sometimes called lemon cheese, is a very common English preserve. Spread on muffins, scones or even use as a tart filling. This is one of my very favorite things.

Grated peel of 4 lemons
Juice of 4 lemons (about 1 cup)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. This will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

The Perfect Pot of Tea
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1. Empty teakettle and refill it with freshly drawn cold water. Put the kettle on to boil.

2. While kettle is heating, pour hot water into your teapot to warm it.

3. Pour hot water out of tea pot and add your tea. Measure a spoonful of loose tea for each cup and then add one more for the pot. (Most tea pots hold 5-6 cups). If using tea bags, use one less than the desired number of cups.

4. As soon as the kettle comes to a rolling bowl, remove from heat and pour over your tea in the tea pot. If you let the kettle boil too long it loses oxygen and can result in a flat tea.

5. Let your tea brew for 4-6 minutes.

6. Gently stir tea if using loose tea and strain into your cups. If using tea bags, remove. Using a tea cozy will keep your tea hot in the pot for up to a hour! I made the one shown in the picture.

"If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
of you are depressed, it will cheer you;
if you are exhausted, it will calm you"

William Gladstone


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