Tea Parties Aren't Just for Little Girls

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I LOVE tea parties. When I was teaching, I used to host a Ladies Back to School Tea at my home every September. Now that I am a stay at home mom, a tea party is a great excuse to invite my friends and their kids over for play dates. I usually offer a wide variety of teas, so that everyone can have a choice of what she would like to drink. In addition, I love to make scones. They are SO easy, especially if you have a scone pan, and what pairs better with tea than a scone!
Tomorrow I am hosting a tea party at my house and have invited my friends Traci, Hayley and Melissa to join me. Daniel and I spent the morning making three different kinds of scones: raspberry white chocolate ricotta, blueberry ricotta with lemon glaze, and ginger. Scones are also a really great breakfast or brunch item. Twice a month, we have weekend family breakfasts in our house, and many of those mornings, scones are featured. My husband David especially likes the blueberry ricotta scones with lemon glaze.
The blueberry scone recipe that I use is from Tyler Florence's book "Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen." The only change I make is that I add 1/2 cup of ricotta when I have it on hand, and instead of cream I use a mixture of half sour cream and half whey. Let me just say that I LOVE Tyler Florence. I love Tyler Florence so much that I have almost all of his cookbooks and am constantly making his recipes. I even tried to convince David to let us name our son Tyler Florence Porter - although David put the kibosh on that right away. But I digress...


I have had the recipe for the raspberry white chocolate ricotta scones FOREVER. I am not sure where it came from but it has been one of my tea party staples for years. In fact, whenever I used to host the back to school tea parties, people used to tell me they would only come if I served those scones! Here's the recipe:


2 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c. cold butter cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 c. heavy cream or a milk and sour cream mixture- half milk, half sour cream (or you can use whey instead of milk)
1/2 c. ricotta cheese
3/4 c. frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
2/3 c. white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until just mixed by hand or with an electric mixer. Cut in butter using two knives or pastry cutter (or with the kitchen aid), until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into a greased scone pan, or onto a greased cookie sheet. You can also add a bit more flour to make a stiff dough and press dough into a circle, and cut the dough into triangles using a pizza cutter. I have never done this, but many scone recipes suggest it. Sprinkle scones with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until scones are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each scone comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!


If you have never had a ginger scone before, let me tell you, you are DEFINITELY missing out! They have a unique flavor that really pairs well with most teas and coffee. I first had a ginger scone at a coffee shop in Seattle, after that, I was hooked. I came across this recipe a couple of years ago, and it has become my absolute favorite scone recipe, hands down!


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried ginger (you could also use fresh ginger if you have it on hand)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tbsp. cold butter cut into cubes
1 cup crystallized or candied ginger, chopped
3/4 c. milk (or whey - I love cooking with whey)
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp cold water for an egg wash


Preheat oven to 450. Combine dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or two knives (or your Kitchen Aid) to cut in butter until it resembles course crumbs. Add the crystallized ginger bits, the milk and the sour cream and mix until just incorporated. The dough should be soft and moist. Do not over mix. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into a greased scone pan, or onto a greased cookie sheet. You can also add a bit more flour to make a stiff dough and press dough into a circle, and cut the dough into triangles using a pizza cutter. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each scone comes out clean. Allow to cool. Serve with your favorite jam and butter.


The key when making scones is to never over mix your dough, otherwise they become dense and gummy.

Anyway, that is all for now. Until next time Foodie Mommies and Daddies, happy cooking!

2 comments:

Amy said...

Your raspberry white chocolate scones sound delicious. Do you go on tour? Otherwise I guess I'll have to try making them on my own.

I've actually made Tyler's blueberry lemon scones although I follow the recipe as is. I love them and so does Neil. They're a little messy or I'd make them more often.

frenchieliza said...

Yes, the raspberry and white chocolate scones are quite yummy...I did something wrong today though cause they were really doughy. I had to make another batch. Those turned out great though.
The blueberry scones are super good. Depending on my mood, sometimes I follow the recipe as is, but if I have whey and ricotta I use those instead.

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