Monday, April 27, 2009

Good Times with Friends

A Girls-Only Party!

A tea party, complete with tea, coffee and chai
as well as scones and biscotti.
There was also a choice of lemon curd
and Devonshire Cream for the scones.

Combine in a crockpot:
2 quarts (8 cups) water
8 tea bags of black (I used green decaf) tea
3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup is plenty)

In a large tea ball, put
16 whole cloves
5 cinnamon sticks, broken
16 whole cardamon seeds (optional)
8 slices fresh ginger

Place tea ball in crockpot.
Cover; cook on HIGH 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Discard solids. Refrigerate.
Add a little milk in your cup prior to serving.
(Can be served hot or cold)


Cream Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp bakingn powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Egg mixture for brushing top of scones:
for top:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tblsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a small measuring cup, combine the whipping cream, beaten egg, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix.

Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a 7" circle, about 1 1/2" thick. Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections. (I cut into 12 sections.)

Mix the 1 lightly beaten egg with the 1 Tblsp. heavy cream and brush over scones. This helps to brown the tops during baking.

Bake about 15 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn broiler on high. Sift confectioners (powdered) sugar over the tops and place scones under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar had melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch carefully, as the sugar turns golden and burns very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with Devon Cream, whipping cream, Lemon Curd, and/or your choice of jelly.


Lemon Curd

3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 - 3 lemons) (DO NOT use bottled lemon juice)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 Tblsp finely shredded lemon zest
4 Tblsp. unsalted butter at room temperature,
and cut into small pieces

In a double boiler, or stainless steel bowl over saucepan over simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent curdling) until the mixture becomes thick like sour cream or a hllandaise sauce. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk the cut butter into the mixture until melted. Add lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Makes 1 1/2 cups. You may whip 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and fold into lemon curd for a lighter curd


Devonshire or Devon Cream

4 ounces mascarpone*
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 or 2 Tblsp. granulated white sugar
Zest of lemon
* Mascarpone is a soft unripened cheese that belongs to the cream cheese family. It comes from Switzerland and Italy anad is a thick, rich, sweet and velvety, ivory-colored cheese produced from cow's milk that has the texture of clotted or sour cream. Its delicate and mild flavor is great with fresh fruit and is probably best known for its use in Tiramisu. Produced mainly in the fall and winter, it is sold in plastic tubs and can be found in specialty food stores and in the deli sectin of some grocery stores.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until the mixture holds its shape and looks like softly whipped cream. Use right away or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: This can also be used as a filling for tarts or with fresh berries.

A great time was had by all!
Friends are one of life's Good Fortunes!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh SG this was wonderful I am sure. I have never made my own Lemon Curd. Yummmm....

Shady Gardener said...

Lisa, The Lemon Curd tastes almost like lemon meringue pie! It's REALLY good. ;-)

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

MMM, thanks so much for sharing your friends and yummies with us!! Only thing is, I'm eating way too much as it is...your recipes are going to tempt me beyond my control. Oh only live once--might as well enjoy, right?!! Hope you are well, SG...I'm sorry I don't visit much lately...I've been in the garden a LOT and have actually thought of you as I planted some pulmonaria. I think I learned about it from you...having never grown it before. Have a wonderful day!!! Jan

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I didn't even need to click t know the answer is "They go well together!" I absolutely adore lemon curd; a very British thing I learned from my ex mother- and step-mother-in-laws!

Shady Gardener said...

Jan, Thanks for leaving a comment in both places!

Monica, Isn't Lemon Curd Wonderful? It's like a lemon meringue pie without the top and bottom. And oh, so good! It's still drizzly out today. Hopefully I can be out digging a little something and sending it soon!

joey said...

I thought I smelled something cookin'! Thank you for sharing your treasured recipes ... I'm printing them out as I write and will think fondly of you when I taste :)

Commonweeder said...

You've included all my favorites at your tea party. I've made lemon curd and it is the most lemony delicious thing I've ever had.

Shady Gardener said...

Joey, I'm so delighted that I've provided recipes for YOU! :-) Enjoy!

Commonweeder, I agree totally. Thanks for visiting!

Frances said...

Hi Shady, I would like both the curd and the cream, is that allowed, two scones, please! What a delightful party and thanks for the recipes! Yum and fun! :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Frances! And would you like a little lemon in that tea? Or a little whipped cream and cinnamon on that chai? ;-) Wouldn't that be fun! Hope you're able to try and share the recipes.

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I enjoy being outdoors! I also love that I've two children (now grown up with families of their own)and six young grandchildren! :-) Sure would like to see them more often!!