England: Afternoon Tea
I spent a semester during undergrad in Oxford, England. It was an amazing experience, one of the best of my life, and I now have a fondness for England because of my time studying there. My absolute favorite eating experience in England was afternoon tea. I love everything about it: taking a break from the day, white linens and silver trays, black tea with cream and sugar (I already loved herbal tea prior to going to England, but there fell in love with black tea with cream and sugar), dainty tea sandwiches, sweet bites of dessert, and the highlight scones with clotted cream and jam. Let me stop here and just emphasize how much I love scones with clotted cream. Clotted cream is unique to England, and is very hard to find in the US. Fortunately, Whole Foods carries it, and fortunately I live in a city with a Whole Foods (well, 2). It’s a delicious creamy spread that when paired with scones (English scones, biscuity circular flakes of goodness, not the US version of sweet, triangular scones) and tea is simply divine.
So for this “meal” I had the lovely ladies from my small group over for afternoon tea. We had a variety of teas, tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd, and several different desserts. Here are the ingredients for the scones:
Minus the eggs. I’m not sure why I put them in the picture because there are no eggs in the recipe. Here’s the recipe:
Because I did not have self-rising flour, I just made my own using this recipe:
I actually sifted the flour. I usually ignore this when recipes call for it, but I used my little strainer and sifted away.
Doesn’t it look pretty?
The dough is similar to biscuit dough.
I just used a measuring cup to cut out the circles, then brushed some milk on the top.
A yummy baked scone.
I forgot to take a picture of it cut in half, smothered with clotted cream and jam/lemon curd. Deliciousness. Here is the beloved and famed clotted cream:
I also made tea sandwiches, some cucumber and cream cheese, some cucumber and butter, some cucumber and swiss cheese.
The key to dainty tea sandwiches is no crusts, and triangles.
And of course, we have to have tea!
The tea sandwiches:
The desserts (these particular desserts are not really English, but there are usually a selection of small dessert bites at formal afternoon tea). Brownie bites, cheesecake bites, and chocolate covered strawberries.
I didn’t take a picture when everyone was here, but there were 5 ladies +me and 2 babies! We had a lovely afternoon tea 🙂
Notes for next time:
I should have rolled the scones a little thicker, some of them were a little thin. The lemon curd is a must!