This week’s recipe is the perfect dessert for an impromptu Olympic party. It’s been on our specials menu this last week, and always gets a lot of love. An irresistible mixture of pieces of meringue, whipped cream and strawberries, this dessert bursts with the flavors of British summer.
Rumor has it the name came about after a pavlova was dropped at the famous boarding school. In true British style, it was scooped up and served – along with the new name!
Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess
A word of warning: do not mix this dish in advance. You can prepare the separate components, but fold together at the last moment to prevent the meringue melting into the cream.
1 lb strawberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pint whipping cream
4 meringue nests
- Chop strawberries, removing any nasty bits. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
- Whip the cream in a large bowl until it leaves peaks when the whisk is removed. Be careful not to overdo it!
- Crumble the meringue nests into the cream. Be uneven with it: different sized lumps make for more interesting mouthfuls!
- Add a third of the strawberries to the mixture and fold in.
- Spoon the mess into serving dishes and top with the remaining fruit.
With Wimbledon well under way, there are only two ingredients our weekend recipe could focus on: strawberries and cream. The duo have been synonymous with the competition since 1877, the very first year it was held. At the time, strawberries were the fashionable thing to eat and their season coincided perfectly with the tournament. The organisers only ever serve up Kentish Elsanta strawberries, which are picked the day before they are served. Last year they estimate that they served up 2 million berries along with 1,800 gallons of cream!
So we have two recipes for you today, one for a delicious and delicate strawberry and cream sponge cake with black pepper, and the second for a Wimbledon Cocktail to go with it. The sponge cake comes from a fabulous Brazilian chef named Marcello Tully, who has come to find himself working on the Scottish Isle of Skye, serving up some of the best Scottish food around. You can read more of his amazing story here.
But for now: game, set… munch!
135g of plain flour
135g of caster sugar
2 pinches of Bart black pepper
4 lemons, unwaxed, juiced and zested
200g of caster sugar
100g of butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
240ml of double cream
40g of caster sugar
0.5 tsp of Bart vanilla essence
200g of strawberries, stems removed and halved, 10 reserved to top the sponge
25g of strawberry jam, combined with 10ml water
icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Start with the sponge by whisking the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until light and fluffy.
- Leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before gently folding in the flour and pepper. Spread the mix onto a slightly dipped baking tray which has been lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, cool and then cut into 8cm rounds using a pastry cutter.
- In a heatproof bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and butter over a pan of simmering water – make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a thick custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- For the vanilla cream, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge to cool.
- To assemble the strawberries and cream, use a high ended 7cm pastry ring and place 1 of the 8cm sponge circles at the base
- Arrange a few halved strawberries flush inside the ring with the cut-sides facing outwards – this should leave a small gap in the centre, fill this gap with the lemon curd.
- Next, add the vanilla cream to fill any remaining gaps and cover the top of the strawberries. Place another sponge circle on top of the cream and press down firmly to hold the shape. Repeat this process for each ring and set aside.
- When almost ready to serve, combine the strawberry jam and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain to remove the seeds and keep warm.
- Remove the rings from the strawberries and cream and place 2 strawberries on top. Glaze with the jam, dust with icing sugar and serve.
1.0 fl. oz. of Creme de Framboise
1.0 fl. oz. of Double Cream
1.0 fl. oz. of White Rum
Sprig of Mint
Combine Creme de Framboise and Strawberries in a blender, blend, pour into a champagne flute to quarter fill, fill to three quarters with Champagne, stir, pour Double Cream and White Rum into a mixing glass, stir, float on top of the Champagne, garnish with a Strawberry and a Sprig of Mint.
You can’t say we don’t treat you right – here’s yet another summer classic from our cookbook ‘Tea and Sympathy: The Life of an English Teashop in New York’. An American staple, we only serve this in the summer, usually with chilled poached salmon or poached trout.
For the salad:
3 lbs potatoes (here’s a good discussion of the best varieties for a potato salad)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 sliced scallions or spring onions
1 tablesponn chopped chives (optional)
For the mayonnaise:
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup olive oil
- Peel and halve the potatoes. Cook in boiling salted water for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Once cooked, cool them by submerging them in cold water.
- Combine the onion, parsley and scallions in a bowl and put aside.
- To prepare the mayonnaise, combine the eggs, mustard, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper in a food processer. With the motor running, pour the oils slowly through the feed tube. The mayonnaise will thicken.
- Add the mayonnaise to the onion, parsley, and scallion mixture. Cube the cooked potatoes and add them to the herbed mayonnaise; toss to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh chives, if you like.
Pimm’s is THE drink of British summertime. If you haven’t tried it, do your best to get your hands on some - it’s stocked at some of the larger liquor stores. It will keep you thirst-quenched and merry (in, of course, that most civilised of ways that the Brits do best – think “elegantly wasted” in that old classic ‘Withnail and I’) for the remainder of the sunshine months.
To whip up this most delectably, lightly-spiced of beverages – Take a jug and fill it with ice, mix one part Pimm’s with three parts chilled lemonade, add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry and you’re good to go!
Wowee, it’s getting hot! With 100F+ temperatures set to hold for the next week and it being teatime – classically indulged in between 2pm and 5pm back in Blighty – we thought it only fair to share our recipe for Tea & Sympathy’s delectably refreshing Iced Tea. While something of an Americanisation of the British cuppa, we take our hats off to this fine creation’s impressively delicious ability to hit the spot when the mercury rises. And while we don’t like to blow our own trumpet (terribly un-British, don’t you know), we do receive many a compliment and return visits from scores of satisfied customers as soon as we crack out our first batch of the year in the spring months. So, we’re more than happy to do our bit as New York swelters. Take note, then sit back and take a long, thirst-quenching sip!
For truly fantastic iced tea, make it strong. For better results use a flavored loose tea such as blackcurrant, apricot, or mango, which are particular favourites. These, and many other interesting flavours, are available from our produce store, located next door to the restaurant. With summer sticking around, why not make a large batch and keep in in the refrigerator – it will last several days.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
6 heaped tablespoons of loose tea per pot
1 large teapot
Fresh boiling water
1 tea strainer
1 large heatproof pitcher
- Heat the pot by swirling a little boiling water in it.
- Spoon the tea into the teapot and cover with boiling water. Let it stand for a good 5 minutes.
- Give the tea a stir then strain it into the pitcher.
- Refill the pot with more boiling water and the same tea leaves and again let stand for 5 minutes before straining it into the pitcher. This will give you approximately 10 glasses of tea with ice.
- If you are making a lot of tea, repeat the process and keep adding it o the pitcher, then chill.
- It is quite difficult to dissolve sugar in iced tea. A good tip is to mix some sugar with a little water and stir until the sugar dissolves. You may serve this on the side for those who like their iced tea sweet.
- If you wish to serve the tea immediately: Cool it down by filling a zip-lock bag with ice and placing the bag in the hot tea until the ice cubes have melted. This will cool the tea without diluting the taste. Repeat until the tea is cold.
- Another great idea for serving the tea: Fill some ice trays with the tea mixture. When ready to serve, fill the glass with the tea ice cubes and the iced tea. As the cubes melt, they will not weaken the tea.
- If you wish to have something a little more exotic: You may add a little fresh fruit or mint sprigs to the tea. For example, if you use a peach tea, a couple of slices of fresh peaches added to the glass give it that little bit of extra flavor. Also, slices of mango in mango tea taste luscious!
Who would have thought so much effort went into a cup of iced tea! Remember, we sell a wide selection of imported china teapots and tea strainers, as well as a delicious selection of fruit and herbal teas. And for those who want the gulp without the graft – we sell a different flavored iced tea to-go every day for only $2!
If you have any questions, or would like to order for shipment, please give us a call on: (212) 989-9735.
* As with all recipes featured on our blog, this comes from our book ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of a Teashop in New York’, by Nicola Perry and Anita Naughton. Please call the above number, or come by the store, if you are interested in purchasing one of the last remaining copies.
So, after a questionable spring, summer is well and truly here. While our compatriots back home are well and truly soaking, the telltale signs of July in New York – blasting aircon and smelly sidewalks – can’t be ignored. And there’s only more to come. So here at Tea & Sympathy, we thought we’d do our best to help you replicate one of Britain’s finest features – a glorious summer’s day – with a few of our favorite seasonal recipes from our cookbook Tea & Sympathy: The Life of an English Teashop in New York. If you’d like to be the proud owner of a brand spanking new copy, we’ll happily ship – please see our contact details below.
Where better to start than with Summer Pudding. In America, puddings are soft, mousse-like affairs. In England, pudding means any kind of dessert. This is the easiest pudding to make, but people think you are a creative genius, because it looks like a lot of work has gone into it. Use a smooth round bowl so it will come out in a nice dome shape, then sprinkle a few fresh berries around the dish and plop a sprig of mint on top. We love it with a dollop of clotted cream or slightly whipped heavy cream. We stock both in our store, imported from the UK, and can ship to you. Please see our contact details below if you would like to make an order.
2 lbs. fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
½ cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
8-10 slices of white bread
Whole berries for garnish
Mint sprig for garnish (optional)
Clotted cream or heavy cream (optional)
- Simmer the fruit with the sugar and lemon juice for 5 minutes, until the fruit has softened. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
- Remove the crusts from the bread and line a dessert bowl with the slices, reserving enough bread to cover the top of the fruit.
- Fill the bread-lined bowl with the fruit and then cover with the remaining bread slices.
- Cover the bowl with a plate that fits inside of the bowl, so it sits directly on top of the pudding. Put something heavy on top to weight it down, and chill overnight.
- When ready to serve, place a large plate upside-down on top of the pudding and flip over the pudding with the plate. The pudding should come out whole. (If the pudding doesn’t come out whole, just serve it in individual service dishes and garnish as below.
- Garnish with some fresh berries and a sprig of mint. Serve with clotted cream, or fresh heavy cream, poured or whipped.
Now sit back, relax and imagine sipping from a glass of Pimm’s and watching a game of cricket on the village green, as dappled sunlight dances in the afternoon breeze on the grass below. Bliss.
If you would like to order a new copy of our cookbook, heavy cream, or clotted cream, to be delivered to your doorstep, please call us on 212-807-8329 / 212-989-9735, or email us at email@example.com. If you’re in the neighborhood, pop in to enjoy other summer specials: our menu is currently heaving with delights such as kedgeree, summer bean salad and asparagus, stilton and tomato quiche to name a few.
Stay tuned for more recipes in the coming weeks. God bless the Queen!