Apr 28 2015

May Day High Tea Party

by Kathryn Budig

The Fab English Tradition Gets a Springtime Make-over

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I visit London once a year for work and always look forward to a full blown high tea. If you haven’t experienced this amazing tradition, it basically consists of afternoon tea and tasty goodies—on crack. Imagine piles of tea sandwiches in an array of flavors, an endless supply of gorgeous tea followed by towers of decadent yet dainty desserts. It’s the ultimate Alice in Wonderland experiences and guaranteed to make you want to follow up with an afternoon siesta!

With May approaching, I couldn’t think of a better recipe/blog topic than to break down this lovely tradition. I created 3 different sandwiches and left them open face so you can fully enjoy their beauty, but kept the dessert simple—just a lovely strawberry cream with fresh mint. You can serve any of your favorite teas, but my personal favorite (and obsession) is from a sweet company in the UK called TeaPigs.  Their licorice and mint tea is to die for, not to mention a great way to aid in digestion (thanks mint) and soothe the belly as well as help kick back the springtime allergies (thanks licorice).

You can have this spread all ready to go for when you friends come over, or have them help out with the creation of the sandwiches! This is the perfect opportunity to welcom spring surrounded by the people you love celebrating friendship, the beauty of change, and the mutual love of delicious food!

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Lemon-Cucumber Tea Sandwich:

4 tablespoons cream cheese*

2 tablespoons mayo*

1/2 lemon juiced + zested

1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped + extra for garnish

2 medium sized cucumbers, thinly sliced

Maldon or sea salt crystals to taste

4 slices of white bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into 2 pieces per slice**

*I used vegan cream cheese and Vegenaise for these two ingredients

**I used Udi’s Gluten-free

 

Whisk together cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, zest, dill and salt. Smear a layer of sauce on a piece bread. Layer roughly 3 pieces of cucumber on top followed by a few small sprigs of dill, burst of lemon zest and sprinkle of sea salt.

 

French Radish Tea Sandwich

8 red radishes, thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons european style butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

2 lemons, zested

4 slices of white bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into 2 pieces per slice

Maldon or sea salt crystals to taste

 

Spread a fine layer of butter on each piece of bread. Layer 3 slices of radishes and top with sea salt, lemon zest and a mist of chives.

 

Smoked Salmon + Lemon-Caper Tea Sandwiches

1 package wild smoked salmon

1/4 cup light canned coconut

2 tablespoons capers + extra for garnish

1 lemon, zested

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 slices of white bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into 2 pieces per slice**

 

Whisk together canned coconut, lemon zest, roughly chopped capers and sea salt. Smear a good layer onto each piece of bread, followed by a few strips of salmon and topped off with a small dollop of sauce with 2-3 capers and fine dusting of lemon zest.

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Strawberry Cream with Fresh Mint

1 cold can full fat coconut milk, just the solids

3 tablespoons raw honey

1 vanilla bean, scraped

18 strawberries, sliced

1 lime, zested + juiced

1 teaspoon raw cane sugar

1/4 cup chèvre, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

handful small fresh mint leaves

 

Place 10 of the strawberries into a bowl with lime juice, zest and cane sugar. Combine well and let marinate as you prepare the cream. Combine canned coconut, 2 tablespoons honey, remaining strawberries and vanilla bean into a blender or stand mixer and whip until slightly fluffed. Pour into small individual bowls. In a clean small blender, whip together chèvre, cinnamon and remaining tablespoon of honey. Drizzle the strawberry sauce on top of each dessert followed by a small dollop of whipped chèvre and pinch of fresh mint leaves.

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photo and styling: Cynthia Groseclose