Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Summer Southern Tea Treat

Ladies wearing large brimmed hats, pretty summer dresses and enjoying great conversations with friends. All the while delighting in a feast of delicate sandwiches and pastries served with the most wonderful cups of tea.
I just love that! …warms my heart to the core.

There is just something so nostalgic about practicing traditions from the past, such as traditional teas. They conjure up feelings of elegance and gentility, as ‘having afternoon tea’ is synonymous with civility and blessed with the endearing quality of being just a touch ‘high-brow’. After all, it was Anna, the Duchess of Bedford who started the tradition back in 1840’s when she ordered tea to her private parlors in the afternoon and started to invite her friends to attend. So bring on the tea and cucumber sandwiches darling! J

The Ulster Kitchen is partnering with a British Store in Norcross Georgia called ‘Taste of Britain’ who are celebrating 20 years in business. We provide themed afternoon teas and recently had an English Tea in honor of the Queen of England’s birthday. We had the pleasure of 30 ladies attending our English Tea on Saturday and our menu that included 9 different savories and sweets that were inspired by the Queen’s actual birthday dinner menu. Just to name a few, some of our tea sandwiches were entitled ‘Sandringham Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream’, ‘Smoked Salmon with Cucumber’, and ‘Cream Cheese and Dill’. Sound yummy? We also served the ‘Queen Mom’s Favorites’ a delightful date and walnut cake recipe that was shared by the Queen Mom for a WI fund raiser.

The ladies attending especially raved about the Victoria Sponge birthday cupcakes filled with Highgrove fruit filling and the mini peach fools that I served in shot glasses, which I feature here. Last but never least we served English Devonshire Cream and preserves with the Ulster Kitchen’s famous Irish fruit scones….oh, I could go on and on, but you get the picture, right?

So, enjoy the Summer and do not let it pass without sharing a cup of tea with a friend and toast to the future by remembering the past.

Wee Georgia Peach Fools

A fruit fool is a simple, rich and creamy dessert that is popular in Ireland and is made with poached fruit. My grandmother used to make it with pureed apples, gooseberries, or rhubarb. The name probably comes from the French word ‘fouler’, which means to crush or squash and it’s a delightful way to enjoy fresh fruit in season. I love to make it with peaches during Georgia’s summer season but it can be adapted from mango’s to blackberries and strawberries or really any of your favorite seasonal fruit.

(serves 12 in mini shot glasses)

(Peach Puree)
· 6 peaches (sliced and stones removed)
· 3 Tbsp Peach flavor liqueur
· 3 Tbsp water
· 4 Tbsp sugar

· 1 cup heavy whipping cream
· ½ cup Mascarpone cream
· ½ cup fine granulated sugar

· Mint sprigs (garnish)

Combine peaches, sugar, water and liqueur in saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until the peaches are tender. Cool and then chill in refrigerator. Puree mixture in food processor.

Beat cream on to it forms soft peaks in an electric mixer. Soften mascarspone cheese by beating gently by hand and then fold in to the fresh cream being careful not to over beat. Gently combine about one third of the puree leaving swirls of peach puree.

Spoon cream mixture in to a piping bag with a large nozzle. Spoon 1 ½ tsp of reserved puree on bottom of each glass and then pipe cream in to individual glasses. Place a second layer of puree in glass, followed by cream and finish with a little more puree. Pipe a final decorative swirl of cream on top.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Judith, the Irish Foodie...