Make tea for the Queen on Jubilee Day
Perfect recipes to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee...
Across the UK and Commonwealth people will be getting together to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. There are big plans for the Queen herself of course with parades, concerts and pageants all planned, but there will also be street parties and picnics as we all gather to toast the monarch. So if you fancy throwing your own Jubilee party in the UAE, here are some ideas of what to serve up...
ONE LUMP OR TWO
There is no more fitting way to mark Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne than the quintessentially British culinary experience of afternoon tea. When she’s at Buckingham Palace, the Queen likes to be in her suite by 5pm to be served a spread of scones, sandwiches and cakes - with the corgis often tucking into the crumbs. Her ‘ordinary’ subjects may not always have time to do the same, but the tea party tradition that swept into fashion in the 19th century is making a comeback.
Ruth Bond, chairman of Britain’s National Federation of Women’s Institutes, says: “As the economy continues to change, people are reassessing what is it important in their lives and making time to appreciate things they previously might not have had time for.
“Good food and good company seem to be at the top of most people’s lists.
“The Diamond Jubilee is the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea with the people closest to you - and perhaps meet some of your neighbours and build community links over some delicious cake and tea.”
Think you know how to make the perfect cuppa? Think again! Fortnum & Mason’s assistant buyer for tea and coffee, Margot Cooper, gives her top tips....
1. Use a giant teapot if you’re making tea for lots of people. Warm the pot first. Boil the kettle, rinse the pot with the boiled water, and then throw that water away.
2. Use loose tea rather than teabags to get a cleaner, clearer flavour. If you can get eight cups from your pot, use about eight teaspoons. But a practice run before your party will help you decide how light or dark you like your tea.
3. Add freshly boiled water to the pot, pop the lid on and let it brew for between three and five minutes. On average, people brew tea from a teabag for 19 seconds, but proper tea needs more time.
4. Once it’s brewed, give it a stir and use a strainer to pour the tea into teacups. You can add milk first or last, depending on taste.
Try these two classics - Victoria Sandwich and Strawberry Shortcakes - from the Women’s Institute to make a feast fit for royalty...
INGREDIENTS (makes 6)
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
25g (1oz) ground almonds
125g (4 1/2oz) butter
60g (2oz) caster sugar, plus extra
1 egg yolk
150ml (10fl.oz) double cream
1tbsp caster sugar
250g (9oz) strawberries, 3 reserved and the remainder sliced
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Lightly grease a baking tray.
Sift the flour and salt together and mix in the ground almonds.
Cream the butter and sugar together and the egg yolk. Work in the flour and almond mixture using your fingers to make a fine dough.
Roll the mixture out on a lightly floured surface to about 4mm (1/4 inch) thick and cut out 12 x 7cm (23/4 inch) rounds using a fluted cutter and re-rolling as needed.
Place on the prepared tray, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and bake for 8-10 minutes. Leave to go cold.
Whip the cream, adding the sugar, and pipe a rosette on top of six of the biscuits.
Fold the sliced strawberries into the remaining cream and spoon on top of the remaining biscuits. Add the rosette-topped biscuits and decorate each with half a strawberry.
INGREDIENTS (serves 6)
110g (4oz) soft margarine
110g (4oz) caster sugar, plus extra for decorating 2 eggs
110g (4oz) self-raising flour
Raspberry jam, for filling
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Grease two 15cm (6 inch) sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking parchment or greased greaseproof paper.
Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and creamy in texture.
Add the eggs a little at a time and beat well.
Sift the flour and gently fold into the mixture.
Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
When cold, fill with jam and sprinkle the top with caster sugar. It is easier to cut this into slices if you make it the day before and chill in the fridge.
‘The Women’s Institute Vintage Teatime’ compiled by Jessica Simmons is published by Simon & Schuster.