Bianca’s Tea Time Recipes: Part 1

Though “high tea” as we use it today isn’t the same as what Jane Austen herself would have experienced, it’s still an activity that’s closely tied to meetings about her, or even special outings with friends and family.

Awhile back I made a high tea for my future in-laws. I’ve only taken on this task a few times and it’s always a huge undertaking, especially for more than one person, but it’s totally worth the effort once it’s done.

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To clarify, what I made was an afternoon tea, which includes scones, sweets, salads and sandwiches. There’s a handy guide below for helping you understand the variations between “tea times.”

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Check out Ahmad tea for more info.

Many of you had questions about my tea, so I thought I would put the recipes here for anyone who wants to make it. For the tea itself, I like to let people choose their own tea bags. But if everyone is ok with one kind of tea, make a pot of that to be served throughout.

These are not precise recipes, but I hope they help you if you’re looking to put on your own tea. Enjoy!

Menu

Lavender Scones

Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches

Beet Salad

Brownie Trifle Tea


Lavender Scones 

When I did this, I happened to have a packet of scone mix on me. This isn’t any mix, it’s from a small company that started in Chico, California, where I went to college for my undergraduate degrees. I first spotted the Two English Ladies years ago at a farmer’s market, a table laden with lemon curd, scones and more. I’ve since moved away from Chico, but I never forgot their scones. Over the holidays I went to a local Dicken’s Fair and was thrilled to see the very same ladies I used to see at market. They’ve expanded their line and now show up to big cities. Anyway, I couldn’t resist trying their scones again, and they were lovely.

I bought clotted cream and lemon curd at local stores, but if you’re in a pinch (scone purists, turn away) jam and butter work ok.

Serve scones on tray with bowls of lemon curd and clotted cream ready to be slathered on.

Vegetarian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

  • Fake chicken patties (I use Morningstar)
  • Vegenaise
  • Green onions
  • Pickles
  • Fluffy but sturdy bread. I use sourdough sometimes too.

Curried chicken salad sandwiches are usually a standard for tea, but I don’t eat meat! This is my take on that classic.

Cook patties, or whatever meat/meat alternative product you want. In a big bowl, put chopped green onions and pickles, then a big dollap of Vegenaise. Once patties are done, cut into chunks and put in big bowl. Mix up.

Cut the crusts off the bread, place one crust less piece on plate or board, spoon chicken salad onto it and spread evenly. Place second piece of crust less bread on top, cut in half. You can do triangles or rectangles.

Serve cutely stacked on plate.

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Cucumber Sandwiches

  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dry dill
  • Fluffy but sturdy bread. Cream cheese

I like to be fancy and cut four sides of the cucumber skin off. Slice cucumbers into thin slices. Put cucumber slices in large bowl, put one tablespoon of dill and one cup of vinaigrette in bowl, mix up. Put in fridge for a few hours, stir every once in awhile.

To make cream cheese spread, put softened cream cheese in bowl, sprinkle dill in a little at a time as you mix. I add about a teaspoon to one package of cream cheese, but you can do it to taste.

Take crust off bread, spread cream cheese mix on a piece of bread, stack two layers of cucumbers on slice, spread cream cheese on second slice, but on stacked cucumbers and slice away.

Serve stacked cutely on a plate.

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Beet Salad

  • Three to four large beets
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Arugula
  • Goat cheese

Boil beets, this could take awhile, but you want to be able to easily put a knife through it. I like to cut the large beets down into thirds to speed up the boiling process. When done cooking I pour out the boiling water and put cold water in. Once the beets are cool enough to touch the skin should slide right off. I rinse the chunks one more time before putting them in a bowl and setting them aside.

When beets are all done being prepped, cut into smaller cubes. If you want this as a cold salad, put beets in fridge. You can also have it a little warm.

In large bowl, place beet cubes, arugula (to taste, sometimes this is more of an arugula salad, sometimes it’s more of a beet salad, it just depends on the ratio) and chunks of goat cheese. Pour balsamic to taste over salad and gently mix a little. Mixing too much will make the goat cheese mix into the balsamic and form its own kind of paste.

Serve with chunks of goat cheese on top.

Brownie Trifle

  • Make brownies, or buy pre-made or box
  • Heavy whipping cream (or whipped cream if you’re lazy) Vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Raspberry jam (or whatever flavor you like)

Make brownies, cut into cubes. In chilled bowl, pour two cups of cream, add two teaspoons of vanilla and two teaspoons of sugar. (Or follow this recipe. )

When whipped cream is done set aside.

In a glass bowl, or large bowl that’s good for presenting, layer brownies and whipped cream. I like to do just one layer of the raspberry jam because it’s usually a strong flavor.
I try to make the whipped cream be a top layer so it looks cute. Serve with huge spoon to get a little of all the layers when you get a serving for people.

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Originally published in 2018.

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