Sunday, March 10, 2019

Tea Party Menu

A couple of weeks ago we hosted a small tea party for some friends from work. It was a really fun afternoon, and reminded me again how much I absolutely adore tea parties.

The key to any good tea party is the menu. Dan and I thought long and hard about what to serve, but we knew we wanted a traditional fare. So, we planned for Yorkshire tea, British scones with clotted cream and jam, tea sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad, and smoked salmon), and for dessert, macarons and little pastries. Yes, we might have gone a bit overboard.

We also pulled out our bunting to make the place look festive. It's amazing what a little bunting can do to create a festive atmosphere. We even went to the thrift store to get beautiful (but cheap) tea cups and saucers. I didn't think to take pictures, but trust me, it was cute.

I asked a friend to grab the macarons, and we bought the pastries from an adorable cafe near us. Everything else, including the clotted cream, was homemade. It actually didn't take quite as long as it would seem. We made the scones the week before and froze them (this recipe is perfect for freezing!), and the sandwiches came together quickly.

It was a really fun afternoon! Below you'll find the recipes for our party. Enjoy!

English Scones
Original recipe from here
Makes 9 scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  • In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar a couple of times to combine
  • Add the butter in small chunks, and pulse 7-10 times until the butter is completely distributed. You shouldn't see any chunks of butter, and the mixture should have a sandy texture to it. Transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • In a small bowl, whisk to combine the milk and egg. Save 2 tbsp of it for the egg wash later, and pour the rest into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients
  • Stir to combine with a spatula until a rough dough forms
  • Transfer to a lightly floured countertop and knead about 10 times until the dough comes together in a relatively smooth ball. Don't need too much, or the dough won't rise as well
  • Roll the dough about an inch thick and use a 2.5 inch round mold to cut circles. Re-roll the scraps until you have 9 scones
  • Place scones on parchment paper or a silicone mat-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the reserved egg wash
  • Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes, until about tripled in height, and golden brown on the tops and bottoms.
  • Serve with jam and clotted cream 
  • To freeze, place cooked scones in freezer bag. When you're ready to eat them, let them sit at room temperature for an hour, then put in a pre-heated 425 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes, until warm. 

Egg Salad Tea Sandwich
Original recipe from here, slightly modified
Makes roughly 15 small sandwiches

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tsp mustard (I like Dijon, but yellow will work too)
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • loaf of soft white bread (I like potato bread)

  • Place egg in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop
  • While eggs are cooking, cut crusts off bread slices* 
  • Place the chopped eggs in a bowl, and stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and green onion. Season with salt, pepper and paprika
  • Place egg salad on slice of bread, top with another slice, and cut into halves or thirds, depending on the size of your piece. I prefer long rectangles, but you can also make triangles

Cucumber Tea Party Sandwich
Original recipe from here
Makes roughly 12 sandwiches

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 16 ounces softened cream cheese
  • lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  • big handful of chopped dill
  • loaf of potato bread

  • Slice cumbers very thin using a mandolin, if you have one
  • Chop dill and combine with softened cream cheese, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. (You'll use this mixture again for the smoked salmon sandwiches)
  • Cut crusts off bread*
  • Spread cream cheese mixture onto bread and add cucumber slices
  • Cut sandwiches into rectangles

Smoked Salmon Tea Party Sandwich
Original recipe from here
Makes roughly 10 open-faced sandwiches
  • 1 package of smoked salmon
  • cream cheese mixture from above
  • loaf of pumpernickel bread*
  • Round ring mold (cookie cutter or water cup)
  • Cut large circles out of each slice of bread using a ring mold or water glass. I got one-two circles out of each slice using a 2.5 inch mold
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture from the cucumber sandwiches on to the bread circles
  • Place salmon on top of circle, and use mold again to trim into shape
  • Put remaining cream cheese in a piping bag and pipe rosettes on top of each sandwich. If you don't have a piping bag, put mixture into plastic ziplock bag and cut off the corner to make a piping bag

*You can use the crusts and remaining pumpernickel scraps to make homemade breadcrumbs