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High Tea Vs. Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea Menu: Easy Or Elaborate
What time is traditional for afternoon tea?
What’s on the menu for afternoon tea? You have several options, whether you are preparing afternoon tea at home for friends or seeking an afternoon outing. Of course, each of these menu options includes a pot of your favorite hot tea.
There are three basic types of afternoon tea menus:
Light tea: A light tea consists of tea and scones (without the clotted cream), along with some sweets such as cookies or candies.
Cream tea: A cream tea consists of tea and scones served with jam and clotted cream.
Full tea: A full afternoon tea includes a selection of savory treats such as tea sandwiches, in addition to scones (sometimes served with jam and cream), and sweet treats such as cookies and tea cakes. And of course you will have a pot of your favorite tea.
Afternoon tea can refer to any tea break taken in the afternoon. The traditional afternoon tea time in England is four or five o’clock. Most tea rooms, hotels, or other places that serve afternoon tea do so from three to five o’clock.
The Perfect Scones For A Traditional Tea
What is a simple recipe for scones?
Most traditional afternoon tea recipes include scones. You can find endless variations on recipes for scones, but here’s a basic version to get you started:
-In a large bowl, combine 1 ¾ cups of flour, 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a dash of salt.
-Add half a stick (2 ounces) of butter, cut into small pieces. Use a pastry blender (or your fingers) to mix the butter into the flour mixture to form coarse crumbs.
-In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 2 eggs, and 1/3 cup of currants (or raisins).
-Add all but 2 tablespoons of the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky.
-Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until it forms a ball.
-Roll out the dough until it is about ¾ inch thick and cut it into wedges.
-Place the wedges on an ungreased cookie sheet. Drizzle the tops with the reserved egg and cream mixture.
-Bake the scones at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown.
Lemon Curd Defines Afternoon Tea
Can I make my own lemon curd for afternoon tea?
Lemon curd is among the distinctive elements of an afternoon tea menu.
Believe it or not, it’s easy to make your own lemon curd, but keep these tips in mind:
-Use fresh lemon juice.
-Use a heavy, non-reactive saucepan, such as stainless steel, anodized aluminum, or enamel. Aluminum will react with the acid in the lemons and ruin the flavor and color of the lemon curd.
Start by using a lemon zester or peeler to remove the rind from 4-6 lemons.
-Juice the lemons.
-In a non-reactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1 ½ cups of sugar.
-Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 minutes.
-Add 6 tablespoons of butter and stir until it has melted.
-Remove the mixture from the heat and add three lightly beaten eggs.
-Return the mixture to medium heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until it thickens, but don’t let it boil again (this will curdle the mixture).
-When storing lemon curd in the refrigerator, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming.
Freeze Your Scones: Timesaving Tip For Busy Bakers
Can I freeze scones before baking?
If scones are part of your definition of afternoon tea, but you are pressed for time, don’t despair: You can make scones ahead of time and freeze them for later use.
-Freeze before baking: To freeze unbaked scones, form the scone dough into circles or wedges and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet (uncovered) in the freezer for about an hour. When the dough has frozen solid, place the scones in a resealable freezer bag or other freezer container. When you are ready to bake the scones, remove as many as you want and place them on a cookie sheet to thaw for only as long as it takes the oven to preheat. Follow the standard baking instructions, but add 2-5 minutes to the baking time.
-Freeze after baking: To freeze baked scones, allow them to cool completely then wrap them airtight in plastic wrap and place in a freezerproof resealable bag or other freezer container. When you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw (still wrapped) then unwrap the scones, place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.
Give Tea Scones A Chocolate Peanut Butter Twist
What are some new twists for afternoon tea treats?
The description of afternoon tea treats need not fit a traditional mold. If chocolate and peanut butter is one of your favorite combinations, try these unique scones from razzledazzlerecipes.com with your next cup of tea.
-In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, ½ cup of brown sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, and a dash of salt.
-Cut ½ cup of butter into small pieces and combine it with the flour so the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
-In a separate bowl, combine ¾ cup of peanut butter, ¼ cup milk, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
-Combine the peanut butter mixture with the flour mixture. If desired, stir in ½ cup of chopped peanuts
-Roll the dough onto a cutting board and use a biscuit cutter to create 16 round pieces.
-Place 8 rounds on a baking sheet. Top each round with a small piece of chocolate (such as a Hershey’s kiss) or a few chocolate chips. Top with a second round and pinch the edges together.
-Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-20 minutes. Makes 8 filled scones
-Alternatively, you can stir ½ cup of chocolate chips into the mixture for 16 smaller scones.
High Tea’s History
What is the history of high tea?
Many people use the terms “high tea” and “afternoon tea” interchangeably, but in fact they are two different occasions.
High tea, at least in England, originated as a heavier meal eaten around 6:00 p.m. that replaced dinner. It is also referred to as “meat tea” because it can include a meat main course. Many tea rooms in the United States consider a high tea to be an expanded, fancier version of an afternoon tea that includes more types of pastries, tea cakes, and tea sandwiches, while in some places a “high tea” or just the term “tea” remains synonymous with a larger evening meal.
The term “high tea” refers to the fact that high tea was originally a meal eaten at a standard dining table with place settings.
By contrast, afternoon tea is sometimes called “low tea,” because afternoon tea (at least among the upper class in England) was often taken in a sitting room at a low table (similar to a coffee table) rather than a formal dining (“high”) table.
But whether your high tea involves a meat course or a more diverse collection of teatime treats, enjoy them with your favorite tea.
What’s On The Menu For High Tea
What foods are included in a high tea menu?
Although a high tea in England and other places may refer to a dinner menu vs. a late-afternoon collection of sandwiches and cakes, many tea rooms and hotels offer a high tea menu in the late afternoon that is more snack than dinner, but includes three distinct courses:
-Savory: The savory course in a high tea or full afternoon tea is likely to include small tea sandwiches made with cucumber, cheese, salmon, or any other savory flavors.
-Scones: When scones are part of a high tea menu, they are often served with jam and clotted cream.
-Sweets: This is the “dessert course” of a full tea and it is likely to include dessert items such as cookies, shortbread, and petit fours or other small cakes.
A high tea dinner menu may include salads, hot main dishes, pot pies, sliced meats, and cold chicken, as well as a collection of breads and sweet items such as custard, cakes, and fruit. Be sure to check the menu if you are going out for “high tea” so you know what type of meal to expect.
Try These Popular British Teas In Your Afternoon Tea Menu
What are some popular afternoon teas in England?
When the term “high tea” is used to describe a full afternoon tea, the description of a high tea menu will include savory items such as cucumber sandwiches, followed by scones with jam, and then tea cakes, cookies, and other sweets.
There is no one particular tea that is served as part of a high tea. If you are hosting an afternoon tea, you may serve any type of tea that you choose. If you are having tea at a tea room or hotel, your choices may likely include these teas, which are popular as part of a traditional afternoon tea in Britain:
-Assam: This tea from India has a malty flavor.
-Darjeeling: Another Indian tea, with a more astringent flavor and a hint of almond.
-Earl Grey: This tea is a blend of different black teas, scented with bergamot oil for a distinctive licorice flavor.
-Lapsang Souchong: This Chinese tea has a distinctive smoky flavor because it is dried over smoking pine needles.
Make Your Own Clotted Cream
Can I make my own clotted cream?
Many high tea recipes, when they refer to a full afternoon tea, will feature scones served with clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream.
Devonshire cream originated when the cream was skimmed from milk in dairies and placed in pans over boiling water. This scalding process created a uniquely rich cream with a buttery consistency. You can make your own clotted cream by heating full fat milk and skimming off the cream.
But you can also try this shortcut for Mock Devonshire cream to accompany your scones, with no need for standing over a hot stove:
-Combine 3 ounces of cream cheese, a dash of salt, and a tablespoon of sugar.
-Use an electric mixture to beat in 1 cup of whipping cream.
-Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Store the cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it with your favorite scones and jam as part of a high tea menu.
The Origin Of Afternoon Tea
What is the origin of afternoon tea?
Many people associate the origin of afternoon tea with England, but some evidence suggests that the custom of drinking tea regularly may have started in France. According to the newsletter teamuse.com, tea was becoming popular among the French aristocracy in the early 17th century about 20 years before it became popular in England.
Even before scientific studies, people believed in the health benefits of tea. Letters from French and English aristocrats tout the benefits of drinking dozens of cups of tea daily (although the cups may have been smaller than the oversized mugs and teacups that we use today).
The exact origin of afternoon tea in England is uncertain, but one story suggests that a British lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria decided that she needed a pick-me-up to get through the long afternoon before a late dinner at 7 p.m. She asked her servants to bring her tea and bread around 4:00 p.m. and then she started inviting friends to join her for bread and butter, small cakes, and hot tea, and afternoon tea as we know it became as much about socializing as about refreshment.