High Tea

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IMG_20140729_212212[1] 30/07/2014

Even though it has been forecast and even though it is the end of July, I’m still always surprised when the sun comes out. But what better way to take advantage baking style and create a lovely English high tea to sit out in the garden and enjoy with friends.

Not going to lie, it also gave me the perfect opportunity to use my new china set – so pretty.

COCONUT PYRAMIDS

Ingredients:

  • 8oz desiccated coconut
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • a bit of pink food colouring (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line 2 baking trays with grease-proof paper.
  2. Measure the coconut and sugar into a bowl and mix together. Beat in the egg to bind the mixture together and add a few drops of colouring, if desired.
  3. Dip an egg cup in cold water and drain it well. Fill with the coconut mixture and press down lightly. Turn the moulded coconut onto the baking tray and continue with the rest of the mixture.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the pyramids are tinged a pale golden brown on top.
  5. Transfer them to wire racks and leave to cool.

These are more like domes than any pyramid I’ve seen but the important thing is that they taste lovely. You could experiment with colours, separate the mix into little bowls and add different colours to each if you like.

LEMON CREAM FRUIT TARTS

Ingredients for the shortbread:

  • 4oz butter/margarine, softened
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 2oz semolina
  • 4oz plain flour

Ingredients for the filling:

  • About 3 tablespoons lemon curd
  • 5 fl oz double cream, whipped
  • Fresh summer berries (I used raspberries)

Method:

  1. First make the shortbread. Soften the butter/margarine in a bowl, add the sugar, semolina and flour and work together to form a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and chill the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 150C.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the shortbread to 5mm thick. Cut out circles using a 3in/ 7.5cm fluted cutter, then ease the circles into a bun tin tray. Prick the bases well with a fork.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until firm and golden. Leave the shortbread to harden slightly in the tins then gently remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the filling, mix together the lemon curd and the whipped cream. Just before serving, spoon a little of the filling into each shortbread case and top with fruit of your choice.

The shortbread can be made ahead and even frozen. Once filled, however, they go soft quite quickly so eat straight away. These are so buttery and crunchy that this should not be a problem.

The rest of the tea in the picture is a mixture of sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and coronation chicken. Yummy!

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