A Royal Afternoon Tea Party

With over a billion people worldwide tuning into a royal romance and wedding this past Saturday, I could not pass up the opportunity to enjoy the moment as well.  When love is in the air, I do become quite the romantic at heart.

I put together this afternoon tea over a period of a few hours.  I prepared my scones the night before and chilled them in the refrigerator.  I baked them the morning of the tea.  I prepared my tea sandwiches the day of the event, just an hour prior to serving.  The other items on my tea-table were fruits which were washed and plated, a chocolate assortment from Sanders candy, and two types of tartlets.  I used Bonne Maman lemon curd for the sweet tartlets, topped with blueberries, and Camembert cheese topped with raspberries for the second choice.

The cheese tartlets baked for 6-7 minutes at 350 degrees.  I used Athens mini fillo shells for both tartlets.

I also purchased two types of classic British cookies, Jammie Dodgers and McVitie’s digestives to serve.

The tea sandwiches were super easy to make, and can be served on a variety of breads.  I used a healthy lower calorie white bread.  Using cookies cutters, I sliced the three shapes, so as to distinguish the tea sandwich varieties.  I make one spread recipe and divided into three different bowls, and then added the ingredient which makes each tea sandwich unique.

By mixing 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 8 ounces of cream cheese spread, the base is easily prepared.  Next, I divided and added chopped pecans for one sandwich, dried dill for the second flavor, and left the third amount plain. To the plain sandwiches, I sliced cucumbers and combined with the spread.  So many other types of flavors for tea sandwiches can be achieved in this same manner.  Chopped fruits, raisins, dates, olives, various nuts and even properly prepared pineapple bits can be used.  The key to these finger sandwiches are to remove any crusts of bread, and have them small enough to handle easily.

Here is the recipe that I adapted from The Craft of Baking for the scones. Scones served that day were butterscotch and white chocolate, based off of her recipe of chocolate chip scones.  Gather these ingredients:  1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, 6 tablespoons chilled UNSALTED butter, 1/2 cup butterscotch and white chocolate chips combined, 1 cup heavy cream, additional cream and Demerara sugar for topping

Using the stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Next, add the chopped up butter.  Mix until small pebbles of butter can be seen in the dry ingredients.

Next, add the baking chips.  Mix in the cream just until the scones come together into a ball. Remove from the mixer and on a flat surface covered with flour, form into a round about 7-8 inches wide and less than one inch thick.  Cut into pie shaped slices.

Place on a baking sheet, spacing each from the other, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Brush the scones with heavy cream and top with the Demerara sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, checking half way during the baking time and rotate the baking pan. Serve that day or save in an airtight container for a couple of days.

I divided up the scones into triangles after baking.  If cutting into smaller pieces prior to baking, adjust the baking time down.  This recipe bakes perfectly for a non crumbly scone, but I choose to bake them in the larger size and then cut into smaller shapes later.

Besides the chocolate along with the strawberries and seedless grapes, I also served British crumpets, which I purchased at Trader Joe’s.  I served them with honey butter and strawberry jam. Brown sugar and cream were offered with the strawberries. I toated the crumpets just prior to serving in a toast holder.

Two teas were offered, prepared in tea pots for easy serving.  I chose Harney and Sons Ginger tea, and the English Tea Shop green tea.  Served alongside these teas were small white and brown sugar cubes, along with decorated sugar cubes. Honey could also be included on the table.

This was a very easy party to pull together in a short period of time.  It was quite a lot of fun being a royal wedding watcher as well.  When crumpets and scones are mentioned on television, and your guests each have one of those on their plate, it makes for a fun event.  Happiness to the royal couple!

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