My kind of tea party (e.g., this is not a political post) + Cranberry Scone recipe

3 Jun

As the blog-o-sphere as rightly noted, there is nothing like a Diamond Jubilee to provide the excuse for a good party. A lovely friend of mine – Jenny (and admittedly, she is more of a royal-stalker than I) decided that the Queen’s Jubilee was the reason she needed to host a tea party. Is there anything more lovely than gathering with your girlfriends, wearing a cute  sun dress, and eating gorgeous pastries? I’m not sure that there is anything better.

The tea was tasty (and beautifully served), the muffins were moist, and the petit fours were perfect. The tradition of tea supposedly comes from the need to supply food to hard-working souls who struggled to maintain the energy from one meal to another, so sugar and caffeine and foods like pastries or sandwiches hit the spot. Our little party didn’t have anything to do with sustenance, but it was a delightful way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. It inspired me, as well, to look at other tea-inspired recipes in honor of 60 years of Queen Elizabeth. Scones are biscuit-like bread hailing from Scotland and SW England, that are either sweet or savory. Here are my favorites – almost Alton Brown’s Cranberry Scones:

(makes 12)

2 c all-purpose flour (+ a little more for the work surface)

4 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/3 c granulated sugar (optional: add more for topping)

4 T butter, in small pieces

2 T shortening

3/4 c cream

1 egg

3/4-1 c cranberries (I like my scones to be fruity, so I tend to add more)

1. Heat oven to 375.

2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

3. Cut in butter and shortening.

4. In a separate bowl, combine cream and egg, and then add to the dry ingredients.

5. Stir in fruit.

6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and then roll out the dough. Cut the dough with a biscuit-sized cutter or into the scone-shaped triangles. (sprinkle with additional sugar if you are adding that.)

7. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (unless you like them hot, like I do, in which case, serve immediately).


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