Much Ado About Stuffing!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, Nicky – ever generous and kind – thought she’d share her famous stuffing recipe with all you lovely people. This recipe is perfect for turkey and you’ll hopefully have most of the ingredients lying around your kitchen already. So try it out this Thursday for a fabulous Thanksgiving feast!

Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe by Tea & Sympathy

1 large onion chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
2 red apples chopped
6 rashers bacon chopped
3 sausages out of skin
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh chopped sage leaves
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt & pepper
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 or 2 eggs

Fry the onions until soft then add the bacon. Cook for a few minutes then add celery, apples, nuts, sausage meat, sage, herbs, salt and pepper. Fry until it is mostly cooked. take off the heat and add the bread crumbs and beaten egg or eggs. Put into a baking dish and bake for approx 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.


For the truly lazy we also stock Paxo at our Carry On Tea & Sympathy grocery store. This is a stuffing mixture you can add water to then bake in the oven. So whatever your time constraints this Thanksgiving – Tea & Sympathy has got you covered!

Banoffee Pie

This is the perfect recipe for the long weekend. Whether you’re spending it with friends and family or enjoying a few stolen moments alone, Banoffee pie is a real treat and so very simple. It is a British recipe, thought up in the kitchen of a countryside restaurant in 1972, with a definite American twang. Caramel, bananas, biscuits and cream make for a delicious crowd pleaser.

In the restaurant, we serve this in individual portions. If you’re feeding many mouths, it works just as well in a larger pie dish.

Serves 4

1 tin of condensed milk
Packet of digestives
1/4 lb of butter, melted
1/2 pint of double cream
3 bananas, sliced
Grated chocolate to serve

  • To make toffee: place unopened tin of condensed milk in boiling water for 2 – 3 hours. The longer you boil it, the darker and thicker the toffee will be. Make sure that the tin is FULLY immersed in water, otherwise, the tin will explode.
  • Crush digestives and mix with melted butter. Using a fork, press the digestives onto the pan, leaving no holes and then chill. Whip the cream until it’s stiff.
  • Layer sliced bananas over biscuit base and cover with the toffee. Add whipped cream and grated chocolate.

A Recipe For Prince Harry: Spotted Dick

After Prince Harry’s recent performance in Las Vegas, we think it’s about time his dear old Grandma hoicked him back to the Palace, sat him down with a cup of tea and some homemade comfort food and gave his ear a good bending. And we have the perfect dish to accompany this most regal of talking-to’s… Spotted dick! A classic British dessert with a name that causes as many “haha’s” as its indulgent flavors do “mmmmm’s”. This one’s for you Ma’am, get ya mixing bowl out!

Spotted Dick with Custard


Recipe Ingredients:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60g brown sugar (demerara)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 220g shredded suet (this can be vegetarian, but beef suet is best)
  • 220g currants (or raisins)
  • 300ml milk

To serve

” In a large mixing bowl sieve in the flour. Then add in the sea salt, cinnamon, sugar, shredded suet, and the currants (or raisins). Using a wooden spoon mix these ingredients together, then add in the beaten eggs and cold milk, keep mixing with the spoon until it comes together. If the mixture is a little wet and in more plain flour. The mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency, i.e. the mixture is not too sloppy but will drop off the spoon when tilted.

Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, pack it down a little and level the surface with the back of the spoon – the level of the pudding should be about 3cm (1.5 inches) below the top of the basin (or less). Cut a round, large sheet of greaseproof paper and one of foil slightly bigger so they will come down at least 10cm (4 inches) over the sides of the basin…”

For the rest of the recipe, click here. And we sell a tinned version in-store if you’re after a quick fix, if you have a game of billiards to attend to, for example…

Tea & Sympathy Apple Crumble Recipe

We’re having a real “we can’t believe we haven’t done this already” moment. Because today’s recipe is one of the Tea & Sympathy classics. And despite blogging for well over a year now, we’ve never shared it with you. We’ve given you shepherd’s pie, scones, and our famous chicken and leek pie, but apple crumble seems to have slipped under the radar. Unforgivable, we know.

Our memory was jogged while drinking a cup of our new Rosie Lee English Breakfast blend teabags. Apple crumble, with its salty sweet covering along with the soft, cinnamon apples within, is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. Especially, when served with lashings of custard!

So here it, from us to you, our very special apple crumble recipe. To be served with Rosie Lee!

Tea & Sympathy Apple Crumble

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours


For the filling
1 1/2 lbs Granny Smiths or other cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced.
2 tablespoons sugar
5 whole loves or 1/4 teaspon cinnamon
1/3 cup water

For the crumble topping
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sweet butter

Warm custard or heavy cream, optional.

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • For the filling, combine the apples, sugar, and spice in an 8 x 8-inch )square or round) buttered baking dish. Add the water.
  • For the topping, mix together the sugar and flour and rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Cover the apples evenly with the crumble mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 1-1 1/2 hours, until the topping is golden brown.
  • Serve with cream, or custard, if you like.

An Olympic Dessert: Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

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!

Eton College. Where the upper classes learn English, Maths and Quidditch!

Tea & Sympathy’s Eton Mess

Serves 4

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.

Potted Shrimp

As it’s National Fishing Week, today’s recipe is a real British fish classic. We’ve shared our fish pie recipe with you before, and this is next on our hit list of must-try dishes from Blighty’s seas. And it has some impressive support. None other than James Bond is a big fan of today’s recipe: potted shrimp.

Let’s start with some explanation. Potted is simple: the shrimps are served in a small pot, such as a ramekin. But shrimp is trickier as in Britain we refer to the bigger crustaceans (such as those served in A Salt & Battery) as prawns. Shrimp are their smaller cousins, morsels about the size of a cent coin that have a unique sweetness. Combined with spices and served with a ‘lid’ of clarified butter (traditionally to preserve) and a couple of slices of toast this makes a very low effort, yet refined, dinner party appetizer; or a supper for one. Here’s how:

Shaken, not stirred… and with a side of potted shrimp.

Perfect Potted Shrimp

From The Guardian

Serves 4

200g unsalted butter
Juice of ¼ lemon
¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp anchovy paste or Gentleman’s Relish
200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
Cayenne pepper, to serve

  • Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
  • Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, mace, pepper, anchovy essence and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set. Divide the shrimps between 4 ramekins, pressing them in tightly.
  • When just warm, but still liquid, divide the spiced butter between the ramekins and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a lot of hot toast.

Black Forest Gateau: National British Cherry Day

Monday was National British Cherry Day. Intended to support the declining orchards of what was once a staple national fruit (we now import 95% of cherries!) this is one national awareness day that gets our undivided support. The obvious choice for our weekly recipe is the bakewell tart, which we shared a couple of months back: a true cherry classic!

But we’re going with a real winner here, just as delicious and definitely more spectacular, is the Black Forest Gateau. Viewed as dated by some, it was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century by Heston Blumenthal, one of our Food Heroes. If you have three days to spare (seriously!) and a fully equipped kitchen-cum-laboratory, then here’s the recipe and a clip of the great man in action:

But we’re going with a simpler version, much more appropriate for the home cook. As with all our recipes, if you make this, let us know how you got on and send in your pics. And if you have any recipe suggestions or interesting alternatives, please do share!

Black Forest Gateau

NB. Click here for unit conversion.

1x25cm good quality, rich chocolate sponge, cut into 3 discs
250ml double cream
50g caster sugar
250g good quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

For the filling
Approx 500g good quality bottled or canned morello cherries, drained and juice reserved
50ml kirsch
400ml double cream

To serve
Chocolate shavings


  • Bring the double cream to the boil then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until dissolved. Leave to cool – but not harden.
  • Whip the cream with the caster sugar to form soft peaks. Lay the three discs of sponge on to a large tray or three plates.
  • Mix the cherry juice with the kirsch and brush generously on to the discs of sponge. Put one disc on a flat cake tray or cake board then spread with half the cream and cover it with half the cherries then lay the second disc on top and repeat with the rest of the cream and cherries. Place the third disc on top and smooth any excess cream around the edges with a spatula.
  • While the chocolate mixture is of a workable consistency, spread smoothly on the tops and sides of the gateau with a spatula, then scatter over chocolate shavings.
  • Leave in a cool place to set, but not the fridge, as the chocolate may pick up a little condensation and it will ruin the presentation. Serve within a few hours.

“Let Them Eat Cake”: A Bastille Day Recipe

This week’s recipe is for Marie Antoinette. What with it being Bastille Day tomorrow, we thought we’d honor the woman who famously declared “let them eat cake” when told the peasants couldn’t afford bread and winded up losing her head a few years later. Vive la revolution!

As with many of our recipes, this is taken from our cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of An English Teashop in New York’, which is available in-store and to ship. If you’re interested in a copy, send us an email at or give us a call on 212-989-9735.

Sugar-Glazed Lemon Cake

This cake has a delicious tangy, sweet, slightly crunchy topping and is a firm favorite of all the staff here. The whole thing often gets eaten long before it makes it to the customer, sorry!

This photo is taken from the fabulous Milk & Mode blog, the lovely people behind which made our cake and said some very nice things about us:

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 35-50 minutes

For the cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup whole milk

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 4 lemons

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • To prepare the cake: Grease and flour an 8 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch loaf tin.
  • In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • With a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest and the milk a little at a time.
  • Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for about 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, until soft and spongy to the touch.
  • To prepare the glaze: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil for about 15 seconds.
  • Pour the syrup over the cake while it is warm and let cool.

An Ode to Jam: Its History & A Simple Recipe

Getting caught up in all that cockney business a couple of weeks back meant we missed British Jam Week. To make up for it, we’re using today’s Thursday foodie slot for a little feature on fruit preserves and a classic recipe for strawberry jam. There’s little we love more than a thick slice of white toast, generously buttered with this spooned over the top – perfect with a cup of tea!

The dream team!

Jam appears in the very first known recipe back, “Of Culinary Matters”, penned by the great Roman gastronome Marcus Gavius Apicius in the first century AD. It’s thought to have taken off in Europe following the Spanish arrival in the West Indies, where fruit preservation had long existed.

A history of jamophiles: Marcus Gavius Apicius, Louis XIV, Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scots

They remained an aristocratic luxury for most of the remainder of the millennium, with Louis XIV a particular fan: he insisted that all banquets ended with fruit preserves served in silver dishes. Jams made their way to England in the Tudor period, with quince and medlar being too popular flavors. Sucket was a highly prized preserve that took things one step further, combining rich candied peel with jam.

Marmalade is jam of the orange variety and is a little more of an acquired taste. Sadly, its consumption is in drastic decline back in Britain. One explanation of the unusual name is that Mary Queen of Scots was served a rudimentary version to help overcome a crippling vitamin C deficiency. In this telling, the name is a shortened version of ‘Mary, my Lady’.

James Keiller makes our favorite jam. Luckily we sell it in-store, alongside a wide selection of Tiptree’s luxury jam.

When buying jam, the fruit content should be as high as possible, at least 55g per 100g. Our all-time favorite shop-bought jam is from Fortnum & Mason. Chunks of high-quality fruit that keep their dignity in a perfectly sweet liquor, just as it should be. Definitely worth a detour when next in London!

Here’s a very straightforward recipe from Angela Nilsen and the BBC Good Food Guide. And just you try and tell us that picture doesn’t make your mouth water:

Simple Strawberry Jam

900g fruit (blackberries, plums, raspberries or strawberries), prepared weight
900g golden granulated sugar
knob of butter

  • Put the fruit into a preserving pan or large heavy-based saucepan. For blackberries, add 50ml of water and 1½ tbsp of lemon juice; for plums (halved and stoned), use 150ml of water; for strawberries, add 3 tbsp of lemon juice (no water); and for raspberries, add nothing. Bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat. For blackberries, simmer for 15 minutes; for plums, simmer for 30-40 minutes; for raspberries, simmer for 2 minutes; for strawberries, simmer for 5 minutes. The fruit should be soft.
  • Tip in the sugar, stir over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Raise the heat, bring to a full rolling boil, then rapidly boil blackberries for 10-12 minutes, plums for 10 minutes, raspberries for 5 minutes or strawberries for 20-25 minutes – don’t stir though – until the setting point of 105C is reached.
  • Remove from the heat, skim off any excess scum, then stir a knob of butter across the surface (this helps to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave for about 15 mins so the fruit can settle. Pour into sterilised jars, label and seal.