Friday, January 9, 2015

Birthday Tea

Today I wanted to share 
 my lovely belated birthday tea I spent
with my friend Gloria yesterday!

Have I mentioned how much I love having friends
come over for tea?

Gloria is in her later 70's now and is kinda like a 
grandmother to me. 
She and I met in
The Victorian Tea Society
here in Riverside Country, California,
 seventeen years ago and we've been friends
ever since...

Our table was set with white linens and rose-covered china,
my favorite lemon curd,
my sister-in-law's raspberry jam,
and some homemade
mock Devonshire cream!

“The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation. The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation. Even the tea itself–warm and comforting-inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.”
Emilie Barnes, If Teacups Could Talk

Here's the scone recipe we shared:
Fresh Apple Cinnamon Scones
recipe, from 
King Arthur Flour:

2 2/3 cups flour (original calls for King Arthur unbleached all-purpose)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp.) cold butter
3/4 cup chopped fresh apple, in 1/2" pieces (recipe says
about half a medium apple ~ I used a whole apple)
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened preferred

3 Tbsp. coarse white sparkling sugar
(I just used more granulated sugar)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder,
and spice.
2) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's okay
for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

3) Stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon chips.

4) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.

5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is
moistened and holds together.

6) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; if you don't have parchment,
just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

7) Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half.
Gently pat and round each half into a 5" - 5 1/2" circle about 3/4" thick.

8) To make the topping: Stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon.
Brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with the topping.

9) Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each
circle into 6 wedges.

10) Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit;
there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.

11) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for
about 30 minutes, uncovered. (I did this beforehand with just the batter and it worked, too.
This relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise
higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier.)
While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

12) Bake the scones for 18 - 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown.  When you
pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the
edges shouldn't look wet or unbaked.

13) Remove the scones from the oven and cool briefly on the pan.  Serve warm. When they're completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to
several days. (I freeze mine and they freeze well. Yum!) Scones can be reheated by lightly
tenting with aluminum foil. Warm in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for approx.
10 minutes.  Yield: 12 scones. ~ printed from website 10/6/12.

To make free-form rather than wedge-shaped scones, increase the applesauce 
to 3/4 cup.  Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, dollop the scone dough 
in 1/3-cupfuls on to a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the 
scones in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 10 minutes. ***Here's where
I'm pretty sure whomever wrote the recipe up for King Arthur Flour Company made a mistake. The
side note said in this section to "Bake scones in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 30 minutes. I corrected to 10 minutes.  You may have to play with it to find out the correct time -- Barb :)

A little bit of cleaning happened over here
getting ready for this tea,
and not all of it was in my outward surroundings...
Sad to be putting away all of the lovely

Christmas decor,
but with a new year comes rebirth and renewal...

a favorite old teacup and saucer!

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,"
Matthew 25:35

I hope that 
by sharing this tea and other lovely things with you, 
in a way I invite you into my home.  
That's my New Year's resolution to you.

Blessings, as always,

Sharing with:
My Romantic Home ~ Show and Tell Friday

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