I may not have received an official invitation to Friday's royal wedding between Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton but after all the hype, and because of my love of British tradition (I spent six weeks in London in the late 90s,) I feel I should be there in spirit. Thus I plan to set the alarm for around 4 a.m. (when broadcasting begins) and rise to the occasion. Maybe I'll even ring up a few friends to join me in my wedding mania - and we know what that means - food.
For this regal event, a British tea party would be appropriate - hats are optional. Get out your most beautiful teapot and fill it with steaming Earl Grey tea. Serve in delicate tea cups accompanied by homemade scones, both sweet and savory. Surprisingly easy to make, scones are one delicious British tradition.
For heartier appetites try preparing the Ham and Egg Pie, two breakfast favorites encased in flaky puff pastry (a personal favorite.) And if so inclined add a pitcher of champagne Mimosas to the mix, perfect for toasting the royal couple's union.
1 (12-ounce) can apricot-mango nectar
1 (12-ounce) can pineapple juice
3/4 cup cold water
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 (750 milliliter) bottle cold champagne
Directions: Stir together apricot nectar, pineapple juice, water, and orange juice concentrate in a large pitcher until combined. Pour in champagne just before serving. Serves 15.
Dill and Cheese Scones
(These savory scones are delicious served with smoked salmon or smoked salmon cream cheese spread.)
2 1/2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 T. butter, melted
Directions: In a large bowl combine the biscuit mix, cheese, sugar and dill weed. In a separate bowl blend the yogurt and egg. Add to the biscuit mixture along with the melted butter. Stir till blended.
Turn dough onto floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Pat out into an 8-inch circle and cut into 12 wedges. Place on baking sheet and bake in 425 degree oven for 12 minutes. Makes 12.
Strawberry and Rosemary Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 T. water
Directions: For scones: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary and salt. Add butter and work into flour mixture with pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in the cream until mixture forms a dough.
On lightly floured work surface roll out dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle. For Royal wedding scones, use a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Knead together leftover pieces of dough and cut into more scones. With finger or small measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each heart. Spoon a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake scones 18 to 20 minutes, or until edges are golden, on center rack of 375 degree oven. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.
Prepare glaze in medium bowl. Mix together lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Gradually add the water until the glaze is thin enough to spread. With spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Let glaze set for about 30 minutes. Makes about 14 scones.
Ham and Egg Pie
(Packaged pastry dough make this breakfast pie easy but elegant.)
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 pound deli ham, thinly sliced
7 large eggs
3 T. green onions, finely chopped
2 T. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 T. milk
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
On lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry to fit 9-inch pie plate. Line dish with pastry then arrange 1/2 the ham on top. Break the 7 eggs on top of the ham. Prick each yolk with a fork but do not stir into whites. Sprinkle with onions, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Top with remaining ham.
Roll out second sheet of dough to fit over pie pan. Pinch the two sheets of dough together then trim of excess pastry.
Prepare egg wash: Beat egg with milk and brush the top if the puff pastry. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4 to 6.