Afternoon Tea

I fell in love with tea while I studied in England. Those pesky British make sure you are addicted to cream teas from the second you land. Finding a decent afternoon tea stateside isn’t always the easiest though. So, I resigned myself to missing afternoon tea. Then, last time I was down in Walt Disney World, I dragged my mother to afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian and remembered what all the fuss was about. So, when it came time for my birthday, something I haven’t paid much attention to the last few years, I decided to have a tea party. As well as being an excuse to read lots of fun tea cookbooks, and start a places to have tea bucket list, it also meant I could try out a recipe I’d been holding onto for years. Sally Lunn’s is a famous tea shop in Bath, where I lived while in England. The shop is famous for Sally Lunn buns and it was only a few months after I got back to the States that a blog I followed posted a recipe for the famous Sally Lunn buns. However, I never really had any reason to make them. Until now.

I have lots of recipes to share from my afternoon tea but most are ones you can find in any decent tea cookbook. Jam cookies, cucumber sandwiches and a fabulous honey spice cake (which led to me have a fight with a bundt cake pan but that is neither here nor there). One thing I did learn from putting on afternoon tea is why it fell out of popularity when people stopped keeping cooks. It takes a LOT of work to put one of these together on your own. It was fun but I think next time I’ll just find a nice tea shop.

My afternoon tea spread

The Sally Lunn buns are just behind the strawberries. I made clotted cream to go with them and served them with the choice of raspberry or strawberry jam. Of everything I made for the tea, the Sally Lunns were actually the easiest and baked the best in my oven. They baked up nice and golden and tasted exactly like they should have.

Sally Lunn buns with Clotted Cream

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. (1 package) instant yeast
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup milk

1) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. In small saucepan, melt butter.
2) With electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy and pale lemon yellow, about 5 minutes. Add milk and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
3) By hand with dough whisk or wooden spoon, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the melted butter and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Cover mixture and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to three days
4) When ready to bake, remove dough from refrigerator. Stir down the dough, just a few strokes, with a wooden spoon.
5) With a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop dough into well-greased or cooking sprayed standard muffin tins.
6) Lightly butter a sheet of plastic wrap and place, buttered side down, over the buns. Let rise until puffy but likely not doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours. During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375F
7) Uncover the buns. Bake at 375 about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Turn the buns out of the tins and cool on wire racks. Serve warm or cool completely and then store.

Clotted Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1) In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, combine heavy cream and sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
2) Gently fold in sour cream and mix until very thick
3) Place in refrigerator and chill until time to serve


3 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea

  1. Ummmmmmmmm. I'm a fiendish cook for nuance, and this one sounds worth trying!

    My expertise is in anything creamy, and strangely in the opposing field of barbeque. Yup. Finally figured it out. No more backyard fires and arched eyebrows at the picnic table with canned responses like, ” Well…this sure does tie the ribbon 'round the…um HICKORY TREE”. or something equally as humiliating!

    Thanks for the umph. I needed that!


  2. Pingback: A tea party | Krystalized

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