Afternoon tea has always offered a chance for people to take time out of their day to spend time together enjoying good food; something that is particularly important at the moment given that so many people have such busy schedules. As the economy continues to change, it seems as if people are reassessing what is it important in their lives and making more time to appreciate things that they previously might not have had time for – good food and good company seem to be at the top of most people’s lists and if they can enjoy cake while spending time with the people they love, then afternoon tea is the perfect combination!
Afternoon tea is a perfect party option because it offers both savoury and sweet options, and can be served throughout the afternoon. With the weather starting to warm up, now is the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea with the people closest to you – and perhaps meet some of your neighbours and build important community links over some delicious cake and tea.
Why not give the following recipes a try?
Queen’s Jubilee Scones
- 200g SR Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 50g Butter
- 50g Sugar (optional)
- 125ml Milk
- 1 Egg (optional)
- 250ml Whipping Cream – whipped
- Selection of Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries, about 200g
- Heat the oven to Gas 8 230C
- Sieve the flour and rub in the butter to make breadcrumbs
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg and sufficient milk to make a soft spongy dough
- On a floured surface knead the dough very lightly until it is just smooth
- Roll out 2cm thick and cut into rounds 5-6cms diameter
- Bake at the top of the oven until well risen and golden about 12 mins
- Cool on a wire tray and then split and fill with whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
Cooking Time: 25 mins
- 3 medium eggs weighed in their shells (probably 6oz/170g)
- The weight of the eggs in Butter / Soft Margarine
- The weight of the eggs in Caster Sugar
- The weight of the eggs in SR Flour
- Raspberry Jam to fill – home made / good quality
- Set oven Gas 4 160C (fan oven) or 180C
- Grease and base line the bottom of 2 20cm/8″ sandwich tins
- Cream butter/margarine and sugar
- Beat the eggs then gradually add to the mixture beating well each time
- Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture with a metal spoon
- Divide equally between the 2 tins and bake 25mins in the middle of the oven.
- They are ready when they are golden, shrunk from the sides of the tin and spring back when touched
- Remove from the tins and fill with raspberry jam when cold to avoid jam bleeding into the cake
- A light dusting of caster sugar on the top will finish it
- 125g Lavender Caster Sugar
- 250g Butter
- 325g Plain Flour
- 50g Ground Rice
- Sieve the sugar into a large mixing bowl to remove the lavender seeds
- Add the butter and cream until the mixture is much paler in colour
- Sieve the flour and ground rice together and add to the bowl.
- If you wish you can add some or all of the lavender seeds at this point
- Work the mixture together until it comes to a dough, no liquid is required. Work the dough first with the spoon and then bring it together with your hands
- Chill in the fridge for 15 -30mins
- Roll out the dough to just over 1/2 cm thick and cut out carefully
- Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with a tiny amount of lavender sugar
- Chill for 15 mins
- Set the oven to Gas3/160C/325F
- Bake for 15 – 20 mins until just pale golden
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins before carefully lifting onto a cooling rack and sprinkling with lavender sugar
- Allow to become quite cold
Leek and onion tartlets
Makes 4 – 5 individual tartlets 11cm or 1 large 23cm flan
- 225g Shortcrust Pastry
- 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove Garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 450g Leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 50g Margarine or Butter
- 1 Egg,
- 150ml Single Cream or Milk/Yoghurt
- Salt and Pepper
- Good pinch Allspice
- 50g Caerphilly Cheese, finely grated, vegetarian cheese
- Chill the pastry whilst preparing the filling.
- Fry the onion in the oil until soft but not coloured.
- Add the garlic, leeks and margarine and continue to cook until 5 -6 mins until the leeks are soft.
- Cool a little then drain thoroughly in a sieve.
- Beat the egg and cream together, season with salt pepper and allspice.
- Roll out pastry and use to line 4 -5 tartlet tins.
- Divide the leeks and onion between the pastry cases and spoon the egg mixture over each.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cook at 200C, Gas Mark 6 for 20 mins. Reduce to 180C Gas Mark 4 for a further 15 – 20 mins until brown and firm
- Serve hot or cold