Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tea, Milady?

I asked Juan the other day: "Do you think I behave like a lady?". You see, I admire a sophisticated, graceful, ladylike woman. I don't think I am downright feminine in the way I behave or dress all the time - but I don't think I'm a tomboy either. I love to be elegant and stylish but I can also swear like a sailor.

One thing that I absolutely love doing, is having afternoon tea. I love to be surrounded by beautiful china and sometimes yummy petits fours or petits gateaux

I have been used to having afternoon tea thanks to my beloved grandma, Mamie, who has been religiously doing it for decades, every day at 4pm. When I was growing up, I would try to meet her as often as I could when I was on vacation. It's a pleasure that I would not miss for anything in the world. Still now, every time I am back in France, she calls me and asks: "je te prepare une tasse pour le the, ou pas?". 

Mamie always serves Earl Grey tea in the old tea service of her restaurant, L' Hotel Moret. And she always has a few cookies such as langues de chat, madeleines, palmiers or petits beurre. It's always served with a bit of gossips here and there along with some warm and fond memories of her life. 


I would like to share with you a fantastic recipe for scones. They are out of this world. Sandy, yet still moist and buttery. I love them just as is or with a little bit of butter or better, clotted cream. 

Cranberry Scones (recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine) 
Makes about 12 scones

4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 large egg
1 cup of heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375. Whisk together the flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and blend with your fingertips, until it looks like coarse meal. Add the cranberries.

Whisk together the egg and the cream. Then fold into the flour mixture until the dough comes together.

With your hands, press the dough on a floured surface, in a 1 inch thick roughly shaped rectangle (thickness is important. 1 inch = 2.54 cm). Cut out rounds with cutter. I also cut out squares, using a tupperware box, that I then cut in 2 triangles. Arrange on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Gather dough together and cut out more scones. Repeat the cream brushing and sugar sprinkling.


N.B: If you live in Austin, Texas and enjoy drinking tea like me, do go to The Steeping Room.


Lucie said...

Finally I can leave a comment! Just wanted to say that your Mamie has a great habit! Tea, buiscuits and gossip, what else do you need at the end of the day? I have had the privilege to have tea with you two only a few times, but it's a special memory.
As for the recipe, I am off to the supermarket later on so I will try these SCONES from heaven and I will let you know about it! Can't wait!

lucie said...

Hi again! Just finished the first bunch of scones and could not resist one... OH MY!!! Avis aux gourmands: Delicious!! I have adapted the recipe a little, well, less butter does not affect the moisture, also I have added dried apricots with the cranberries and vanilla sugar on top. I have also made different shapes [star, heart and cloud] so I can actually make more scones ;-) I love the recipe so if you have a bit of time and a sweet tooth, just try it out! I am off to check on my scones!

memorablecontent said...

Letty! how lovely! Thank you.

Let's get tea sometime!!!!!

Laetitia said...

Thanks Ceci!! We should totally have a tea party!! Scones and cucumber sandwiches!! :)