Gather your friends and put together your own progressive tea! Travel to different locations for the courses of a coordinated autumn menu for afternoon tea in honor of the September birthday of Anna, Duchess of Bedford and creator of afternoon tea.
Start by creating an invitation so everyone knows where and when each course will occur. Allow an hour for each course. Use two sheets – the printed invitation & a larger piece of cardstock in a contrasting color - tied together with a ribbon.
Choose from some of these recipes featuring autumn vegetables and fruits or be creative and have each host adapt some of their own specialties for each course. Don’t forget the tea - serve a different tea at each location. Enjoy!
Harvest Inspired Soups
ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into rounds
1 small turnip, peeled and cubed
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white parts only
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
8 c vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil, add herbs and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender –turning occasionally. Remove the herbs and bay leaves and put vegetables into a large pot. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Puree until smooth.
CURRIED CARROT-APPLE SOUP
1Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1Tbs curry powder
5 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
41/2 c chicken broth
Sauté onion and celery in olive oil until softened and translucent, 8 to 1o mins. Stir in curry powder, then add carrots, apples and bay leaf and stir well. Add broth. Bring the mixture to a low boil, reduce the heat, cover tightly and simmer until the carrots and apples are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Transfer the soup solids to a food processor, adding about 1/2 cup of the broth; process to a smooth puree. Pour the puree back into the soup, reheat and season. Serve piping hot, garnished with a dab of yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Autumn Tea Sandwiches
CHEDDAR-CHUTNEY TEA SANDWICHES: Sauté 3c thinly sliced onion in butter until tender and brown, about 12 minutes, and then set aside. Combine 1 1/2c finely chopped pecans and 3Tbs minced fresh thyme. Spread a thin layer of an 8oz pkg softened cream cheese on 12 thin-sliced pumpernickel bread rounds and top with a thin layer of caramelized onions and a slice of Cheddar cheese. On the other 12 bread rounds, spread a thin layer of apple-cranberry chutney, then sandwich them together. Slice each in half, spread remaining cream cheese on round edges and roll in pecan mixture.
GRILLED CHICKEN TEA SANDWICHES: Grill a chicken breast. Cool and chop into small pieces. Blend together a stick of butter, 1Tbs honey, 1tsp finely ground Earl Grey tea and a pinch of salt. Peel and grate ½ of a Granny Smith apple then squeeze out the excess liquid and add to butter mixture with chopped chicken. Spread on multigrain bread, remove crust and cut into fingers.
HARVEST APPLE TEA SANDWICHES: Cut 1 ½ peeled Granny Smith apples into thin slices and soak in lemon juice to prevent browning. Spread 6 slices of cinnamon raisin bread with creamy peanut butter and layer apples between slices. Remove crust and cut each into 4 triangles, then spread one edge with peanut butter & dip in chopped peanuts.
CARROT-RAISIN PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 1/2c shredded carrots and 1/2c golden raisins. Spread on tortillas, roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections.
SWEET-N-SAVORY PINWHEELS: Combine 8oz cream cheese with 1/4c Dijon mustard. Spread on tortillas, top with thinly sliced smoked ham and spread with apricot jam. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut wraps into 1” sections.
GARDEN MEDLEY QUICHE: Combine 10 eggs, 1/2c flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1 1/2tsp dried onion, 1/2tsp garlic granules, 1/4c melted butter, and 1c cottage cheese; blend well. Add 2c cottage cheese, 10oz frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry, 1/2 chopped red pepper, ½ chopped yellow or green pepper, 1 bunch chopped scallions, and 12oz grated Swiss cheese. Mix thoroughly. Divide mixture between two greased 10-inch pie pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set.
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE: Sauté 1/2c minced onion, 1 minced garlic clove and 2c chopped fresh broccoli in 2Tbs butter until the vegetables are soft. Spoon the vegetables into pie crust and sprinkle with cheese. Combine eggs and half and half then season with salt & pepper. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese. Bake quiche at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until center has set.
Golden Baked Scones
CINNAMON-APPLE SCONES: Combine 2 c flour, 1/3 c sugar, 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/4tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in 8Tbs butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2c shredded apple. Combine an egg and 1/2c sour cream until well blended, and then add to dry ingredients until they are moistened. Knead on floured surface until dough holds together. Divide dough in half and pat out each into a 1/2 inch thick circle and cut into 6 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until golden brown.
SPICE SPREAD: Blend together 8oz cream cheese, 2/3c powdered sugar, 1/2tsp vanilla and 1Tbs spice blend until smooth. Chill 2 hours.
MOCHA CHIP SCONES: Combine 2 c flour, 1/3 c sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/4tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in 8Tbs butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3/4c white baking chips and 3/4c chocolate chips. Combine an egg, 1/4c strong, cooled coffee, 2Tbs heavy cream and 1tsp vanilla extract until well blended, and then add to dry ingredients until they are moistened. Knead on floured surface until dough holds together. Divide dough in half and pat out each into a 1/2 inch thick circle and cut into 6 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins or until golden brown.
DEVONSHIRE CREAM: Beat 1c heavy cream past creamy but before butter! Blend in 1c sour cream, 1tsp vanilla extract and 1/2c powdered sugar. Chill and serve.
Indian Summer Sweets
APPLE-BASIL BUTTER COOKIES: Cream 1c butter and 1c brown sugar, then add egg and mix well. Add 1Tbs applesauce and 1Tbs chopped cinnamon basil. Add 2 1/2c flour, 1tsp baking soda and 1tsp apple cider. Roll into two logs, wrap & refrigerate overnight. Slice, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins.
CINNAMON GREY TEA CAKES: Steep 1Tbs Earl Grey tea in 1/2 c boiling water for 5 mins. Strain and add 2Tbs poppy seeds and 1Tbs fennel seeds to soak. Combine with 1c yogurt and add to a yellow cake mix with 1tsp cinnamon. Pour into greased mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins. Turn upside down and drizzle with a glaze of 1/4c Earl Grey tea and 3/4c confectioners’ sugar.
FRUIT & NUT TRUFFLES: Place 14oz semisweet chocolate chips in bowl. Bring 1c heavy cream to scalding point and add to chocolate and wait 1-2 mins before stirring then gently whisk until smooth. Add 1/2c raisins and 1/2c chopped pecans. Pour into small bowl, cover and refrigerate several hours. Use melon baller to make truffles then roll in a combination of cocoa & powdered sugar.
“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”