Lemon Curd

So last month my book club met and discussed the book The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. Typically we just have light snacks, but as I didn’t have to work due to the quarantine, I decided I would do a little tea party.

In the book our book club had been reading, The Secret Adversary, the two main characters go to tea a few times at Lyons Tea Cafe. I originally wanted to try to make something like the tea shop would have, but then my coworker gave me a whole box of Meyer’s Lemons.

I need to find some recipes.

So instead we had egg salad sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, french fries (pommes pont neuf), Scottish Oat scones, lemon curd, lemon crinkle cookies, and meyer lemon poppyseed cake. Instead of putting all the recipes in one post and making it too long, I decided to break it up and share each recipe separately so that if interested, you can make your own and eat it with a cup of tea and some Jane Austen.

This recipe comes from Epicurious.com and I picked it for my first attempt at lemon curd as it used the whole eggs not just the egg yolks.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Meyer’s Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons of Finely Grated Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Stick (6 Tablespoons) of Butter

Directions:

  1. Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2 quart heavy saucepan.
  2. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 mins.
  3. Transfer lemon curd to bowl and cover with plastic.
  4. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.

This came out horribly!

Everything looked fine, but when I took it out of the fridge an hour later-it had separated into two parts. I poured it into a jar and tried to mix it up, but then it came out very liquidy-and when you spooned a bit on the scones it just soaked into them instead of garnishing them.

I will never make this recipe again.

For more lemon recipes, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more recipes, go to Scottish Oat Scones

For more tea parties, go to Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

So the last Monday of the month our book club meets to discuss the book we have been reading. I used to have Mondays off and we would go out after the other book club members got off, but my job changed and we now meet after I get off at 5. Typically we just have light snacks, but as this Monday I didn’t have to work due to the quarantine, I decided I would do a little tea party.

The book we had just finished reading wasThe Secret Adversary, and the two main characters go to tea a few times at Lyons Tea Cafe. The book is set in 1921, and I tried to find a menu of the time but couldn’t.

I did find one from 1913 which did included pommes pont neuf and a few other things. I had decided what to make when my coworker gave me a whole box of Meyer’s Lemons.

That’s not good.

We had been talking about the lemons as I shared I wanted to try making lemon curd, as I have more free time, but I thought she was just going to give me one or two, not a box full.

Uh oh

So instead of what sweets I planned to make, we were doing a lemon theme.

So we had egg salad sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, french fries (pommes pont neuf), Scottish Oat scones, lemon curd, lemon crinkle cookies, and meyer lemon poppyseed cake. And we all had a wonderful time talking about our book, snacking, and drinking tea.

After all:

I had planned to share each recipe with you, starting with the scones, but then Marnie Cannon on instagram asked about the cake recipe, so instead we will be starting with that. But I will still share the others throughout the month. If any interest you, I encourage you to try them out.

This recipe comes from Browned Butter Blondie.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Butter at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup + 1 Tbsp of Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 1.5 Tbsps of Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsps of Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 Tsp of Vanilla
  • 1.5 Cups + 2 Tbsp of Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp of Poppyseeds
  • 1/2 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt at Room Temperature

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 3-4 Tbsps of Whole Milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the ovem to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
  6. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  7. With the mixer on low add some of the flour mixture, and mix.
  8. Then add the yogurt and mix. Repeat alternating between flour mixture and yogurt.
  9. Remove from mixer and mix in poppyseeds, but just until they are incorporated. Do not overmix.
  10. Pour batter into pan and cook for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and cool for 10 mins.
  12. While cake is cooling, whisk confectioner’s sugar and milk together.
  13. While cake is warm, spoon the glaze over the top.
  14. Sprinkle with poppyseeds if desired.

This was extremely delicious! If you like lemon and lemon cake I suggest you try it out for yourself.

For more recipes, go to Irish Soda Bread

For more desserts, go to Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies

For more tea parties, go to Literary Tea Parties

Irish Soda Bread

So every year I do a post on 17 or 7 Irish heroes in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, and each post I mention how I will be making Irish Soda Bread.

It is so good-and I usually spend the rest of the week eating the bread for breakfast with my tea.

So this year I decided it is time for me to actually share the recipe I use, borrowed from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comso you can make your own for the holiday.

Ingredients:

  • Shortening
  • 2.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for later
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • About 1 Cup of Buttermilk
  • Additional Butter, Softened

Directions:

  1. Heat Oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease cookie sheet with shortening.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Cut in 3 tablespoons of butter, using a pastry blender or crisscrossing two knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  5. Stir in just enough buttermilk so dough leaves the side of the bowl.
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough to coat.
  7. Knead 1 to 2 mins, or until smooth.
  8. Shape into a round loaf, about 6.5 inches in diameter.
  9. Place on the cookie sheet. Cut an X shape about 1/2 inch deep through loaf with floured knife.
  10. Bake 35-45 mins or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from cookie sheet.
  12. Brush with additional softened butter.
  13. Cool completely, about 30 mins, before cutting.

It was delicious! I ended up making two (gotta use up that buttermilk) one for me and one for my Sunday School class. I wasn’t sure the kids would like the bread, but they surprised me and ate almost the whole entire thing.

Or in this case, bread

One thing that I find fascinating is that the the “X” you cut into the bread traditionally was supposed to represent a cross. With the cross on the bread, and bread representing the body of Christ- Irish Soda Bread always makes me think of communion and The Last Supper. Maybe I should make it for Good Friday this year as well?

Well if you make it for Saint Patrick’s Day or just to eat, for yourself or others-I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂 I can’t stop eating it.

And an early-Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

For more bread recipes, go to Slow-Cooker Bread

For more recipes, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So I was on Pinterest and I spotted this recipe, and you all know how much I love Earl Grey tea.

I was so excited to make it as it sounded really good. So without further ado, let’s get right into this (by the way this recipe originally comes from ONE armed MAMA). 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pint of Blackberries (~2 Cups)
  • 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar (or any other alternative sweetener)
  • 8 Bags of Earl Grey Tea (4 Tablespoons Loose Leaf Tea)
  • 1/2 Cup of Cream or any dairy substitute

Directions:

  1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, place berries in a large bowl with sugar.
  3. Crush the berries into a thick jam-like liquid.
  4. Sprinkle in tea or add tea bags.
  5. Pour hot water over the fruit and tea and steep for 5 mins.
  6. Place 5 cups of ice in a large pitcher and strain berry infused concentrate over ice.
  7. The ice will immediately melt, diluting the concentrate and cooling the tea,
  8. Serve in a tall glass with ice, and drizzle in a tablespoon, or more, of cream.

So I eagerly drank it…but this was horrible.

I don’t know what happened, but I ended up dropping it all down the drain. What a waste of blackberries.

It was so awful!

I will not be making this ever again.

For more recipes, go to Skinny Chai Tea Latte

For more tea posts, go to Blueberry Matcha Smoothie

Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

I LOVE tea!

So when I see tea smoothie’s I’m down for that! A while back I made an Earl Grey Blueberry Smoothie, and it was alright. I liked the concept better than the taste and began searching the internet to see if I could find a better version.

This is based on Mid-Life Crossiant‘s recipe, but I did change a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teabags or 2 Tsp of Loose leaf Earl Grey Tea.
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oats (I use Quaker Oats)
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Cup of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Microwave the milk, or warm in a pan.
  2. Steep the tea in the warm milk for 5 mins.
  3. After tea has steeped, allow milk to cool.
  4. When milk has cooled, put in blender.
  5. Add oats, blueberries, yogurt, and maple syrup.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!

IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!

It is one of the best smoothies I have ever, ever, ever had. It was soooo delicious I wished I had more.

For more recipes, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

For more on tea, go to Tea Chocolate

For more smoothies, go to Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

Are Dean Winchester and Jane Austen Kindred Spirits?

We all know how Dean Winchester feels about pie:

DeanWinchesterPie.jpg

Did you know that Jane Austen felt the same way?

applepie

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving Day and enjoy yourself some pie!

And in case you need it, here is a fantastic pie recipe from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

Pie Crust

  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Shortening
  • Ice Water

Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup – 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 6-7 Granny Smith Apples peeled, and cut into slices
  • 1 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour. Add in water, a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add too much and it is too liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  2. Put dough aside.
  3. When cutting up the apples, make sure to remove the hard pieces where the seed grows along with any spots or blemishes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°
  5. Combine the apples, with the brown and white sugar.
  6. Add the flour and cinnamon, mixing them all together.
  7. Divid the dough in half and roll into two balls.
  8. Take a cutting board and put a little flour on the surface, rubbing it. Rub flour on your rolling pin as well.
  9. Place the dough down and roll it into a large circle.
  10. Place the dough in a cake pan.
  11. Lay the apples down on the dough in the pan.
  12. Put the two tablespoons of butter on top.
  13. Repeat step 8.
  14. Place the second ball of dough down and roll it out into a large circle.
  15. Place it on top, to be the top of your pie.
  16. Cut a small incision on the top of the pie to allow steam out.
  17. Add a dash of cinnamon and sugar on top.

For more recipes, go to Baked Potato Soup

For more on Thanksgiving, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more on Dean Winchester, go to Loving Me Some Dean

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to A Real Non-Party Animal

For more on pie, go to I Before E, Especially After P

For more holiday posts, go to Let Freedom Ring

Baked Potato Soup

Who likes to eat?

Me too. I don’t really post recipes on her, leaving that to my sister blog Mysterious Eats.

Weeeeeeeeeeelll…with one exception. If it has to do with Jane Austen or a tea party, I review and post it.

Last year I helped put on a tea, and fashioned it after a teahouse I used to go to when I lived near Santa Rosa. They would always serve scones (I did the Cheddar-Thyme Scones and the Harvest Pumpkin Scones) and tea sandwiches. You could also add on tarts, little turnovers, salad, or soup.

This soup may not be a real “tea soup”, but I thought it was tasty, easy to make, and fancy looking.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Onion, finely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 5 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 14-oz can of Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 Cup of Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 Baked Potato (6-7 inch baker), cold, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 Cups of Half-and-Half
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 6 Slices of Bacon, cooked, broken into bits (Or use Bacon Bits)
  • Cheddar Cheese, to go on top

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions in butter.
  2. While stirring, slowly add the flour and then the chicken broth.
  3. Cook until it thickens.
  4. Add the cheddar cheese, stirring until it melts.
  5. Then add the potato, leaving the skin on the pieces.
  6. Finally stir in the half-and-half and the milk.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Top each serving with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese.

It is a fantastic tasting soup, and having cooked the potatoes it takes like no time at all.

Yay!

The only thing is that you have to be careful when adding the milk or half-and-half. The lactose sugar in them can burn and ruin the dish, so you have to keep stirring. The more you stir the less likely it will burn.

One time I had my niece hep me and I felt like that scene in Goodfellas when Henry Hill keeps telling his brother to watch the sauce. Just like Michael she didn’t enjoy the stirring.

No more stirring.

But it was easy, delicious, and will be a great addition to any future tea parties or dinners.

For more recipes, go to Triple Berry Salad

Triple Berry Salad

So in yesterday’s post, I talked about how I was looking for things to make for my tea party/book club meeting that are Regency-ish but cool for summer.

I was thinking about Emma’s picnic and the strawberries they eat:

I started looking through recipes for a strawberry dish when I remembered a fantastic one that my sister blog Mysterious Eats made.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Ounces of Strawberries
  • 6 Ounces of Blueberries
  • 6 Ounces of Raspberries
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer (there will be small bubbles), and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Chill completely in fridge.
  6. Rinse the berries.
  7. Hull the strawberries and slice into 2-3 pieces.
  8. Place all the berries in one bowl.
  9. Just before serving, drizzle the berries with the vanilla sugar syrup.
  10. Toss gently.
  11. Serve

Thoughts After Cooking:

What did I think?

It was just the perfect blend of everything and absolutely delicious.

For more recipes, go to Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Hot Humid Days are Reading Days

Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. I like to include ay recipes that go well with tea and books.

Even though Christmas is eight months away, I don’t care. I’m making them anyway.

Truth be told I don’t

Background on the Cookie:

“These delicious tea cakes were made by an Aunt Cornelia (“Neal) on special occasions and holidays, using hand-churned butter and eggs she gathered from the hen-house. This southern Georgia version dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. “

**Dough has to be chilled**

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • White Sparkling Sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add one cup of sugar, beating well.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl: combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the milk to butter mixture, alternating between the two. Begin with adding half the flour mixture, then add the milk, and finish with adding the flour mixture.
  6. Mix at a low speed after each addition, until just blended.
  7. Shape dough into two discs.
  8. Wrap the discs in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.
  9. After having chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. Roll each disc to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface.
  11. Cut with a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter; and place one inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
  12. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  13. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool for one minute and then remove to wore racks to cool.
  15. Makes about two dozen.

Thoughts After Baking:

When I took it out of the fridge it was super hard and I was unsure if it would come out okay.

Not good

But after being in my hands it quickly became super sticky, so make sure you flour the rolling pin and the cutting board.

But after all that this cookies were super good. Not too sweet and perfect for tea time.

For more recipes, go to Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

For more on cookies, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

So when reading, especially Jane Austen, it is always nice to pair it with something. Of course tea:

But while on a literary adventure, it is always nice to have something to eat to sustain you in your “travels”.

So here is a delicious recipe borrowed from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Pistachios
  • 1/3 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 12-24 Medium Cherries with Stems

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Pulse the pistachios, flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor or blender until finely grounded.
  4. Whisk the powdered sugar and eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the pistachio mixture until just combined.
  5. Stir in the melted butter until just incorporated.
  6. Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
  7. Bake until slightly puffed and just beginning to set, about 8 minutes.
  8. Place 1 or 2 cherries in the center of each cake and continue baking until the cakes feel springy and the edges are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan to cool completely.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar.

Thoughts After Baking:

It did not come out well…

Fresh cherries are not in season, so I substituted with frozen.

I should not have done that…they made too much liquid…it just did not work…

I will keep my tea cakes, and as soon as fresh cherries are in season I will remake this and give you an update.

For more recipes, go to How to Make a London Fog