In my world of 24/7 where warp speed isn’t fast enough, where quantity not quality is the norm, how luxuriating enjoying a cup of tea with all the accompaniments, so Downton Abbey – tea hold a special place in my life. Slowing time, if just a little, Afternoon Tea is a wonderful pleasure I thank the British for cultivating. My spirit fills with joy sipping a cup of tea from a beautifully crafted English china tea cup while eating dainty little tea sandwiches along with freshly baked Scones topped with a dollop of clotted cream. Over time I’ve amassed an extensive collection of English tea china and accoutrements to host my own teas which have marked special moments in my life. Christmas mother/daughter teas with my daughter’s friends and their mothers, Mother’s Day Teas to celebrate the women in my life and a Bridal Shower Tea for my daughter – afternoon tea shares many cherished memories throughout my life. When traveling I am not only on the hunt for an additions to my collection but for new venues to enjoy afternoon tea. I enviable find a uniquely special new place to enjoy afternoon tea; an elegant stately hotel , an Alice in Wonderland-Mad Hatter room, a Tea Houses among the roses, all sharing impeccable British style service, aromatic teas and delectable treats. Life doesn’t get any better than this I’m reminded as I slowly savor life’s pleasures one sip at a time!
Blueberry Poppy Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour – I use King Arthur Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
Clotted Cream- Devon Cream Company
Strawberry Preserves – Bonne Maman
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and poppy seeds. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.
Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Serve with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserves.