FINALLY, we are allowed to meet up with a few friends in the garden (or park) so this week I thought we could celebrate – with one of my favourite meals, Afternoon Tea! A few years ago my daughters took me to a lovely place for tea for my birthday where (apart from the yummy food) everything was mismatched – there wasn’t a cup and saucer, plate and even chair which went together – so no excuse for saying you can’t do it properly! Cups and saucers, please, and a teapot; a tablecloth and napkins (paper is fine) if you have. As luck would have it our weather seems to have changed to cooler – but never forget we are British so just put a jumper on and have the brollies ready!
Afternoon Tea should consist of Tea (of course!), sandwiches, scones and cake. And perhaps a little fizz? So first recipe is Elderflower Fizz – totally non alcoholic for those driving home.
Elderflower Fizz (I’ve had this recipe so long it’s in lb and ozs)
- 7 heads of elderflower
- 1 1/4lb sugar
- 7 pints of boiling water
- 2 lemons – zest and juice
Put all of above in a container/clean bucket. When cold, add 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar. Strain and put into PLASTIC bottles – and leave about 2 weeks for the fizz!
Sandwiches – everyone has their favourite (mine is chopped egg and tomato with a little mayonnaise which my mum used to make for school packed lunches) but here are a few (new?) suggestions :
- Mix together boiled eggs with fresh avocado, then season with lemon, salt, pepper, and spring onions
- Tomato and mozerella with a little basil leaf
- smoked salmon and cream cheese with capers
- pastrami, swiss cheese and gherkins
- prawns with a dill mayonnaise and lemon
Scones : we’ve made these before – but to save you scrolling through. . . Traditionalists aren’t going to believe this recipe – but, believe me, it works! Scones used to be one of those things I was never that good at – but they now work every time!
- 200g self raising flour
- 3 fluid ozs double cream
- 3 fluid ozs LEMONADE (yes, you have read that right!)
Heat the oven to 220C. Mix all the ingredients together and tip onto a floured board. Knead very lightly for a minute or so and flatten out to about 2 cm thick. Cut out shapes (makes about 6 large ones). Put onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm with cream and/or jam (and try not to argue which comes first!)
Now for the cake and I’ve chosen this recipe as it’s wonderfully light – which means you won’t be able to say after the sandwiches and scones that you are too full for it!
St Clements Swiss Roll
- eggs 4 large
- caster sugar 100g, plus 1 tbsp
- self-raising flour 100g
- lemons 2, zested
- double cream 200ml, plus extra to serve
- caster sugar 2 tbsp
- vanilla extract ½ tsp
- orange ½, zested
- lemon curd 4 tbsp
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a 33cm x 23cm swiss roll tray or lipped baking tray with baking paper. Use electric beaters to whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for 5 minutes until light and creamy. It should leave a trail when you remove the whisk. Fold in the flour and lemon zest. Carefully spread this mixture into the prepared tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through (the sponge should spring back when pressed). Put a large piece of baking paper on a worksurface and sprinkle over the tbsp of caster sugar. Carefully flip the sponge onto it, peeling off the bottom layer of baking paper. Roll it up tightly, lengthways, using the baking paper on the bottom to help. Cool completely. For the filling, whisk the cream with the sugar, vanilla and orange zest until it forms soft peaks. Once the roll has cooled down, unroll it on a worksurface and spread the marmalade on top, followed by the cream mixture. Gently roll it up again and put it on a serving plate. Serve with double cream, if you like.