Mary Anne here. I find this menu is perfect for bridal showers…in fact, I served all of these treats at Mariel’s shower this summer.
Throughout my years of catering, I found that afternoon tea parties became incredibly popular in the village where I live. As a result, I’ve spent countless hours slicing cucumbers, baking miniature tartlets, and learning to use a pastry bag to produce delicate profiteroles.
I could – without a doubt – devote an entire cookbook to the art of serving tea. But for the purpose of this blog, I’m offering an alternative menu of sandwiches and bites that stray from customary crustless creations. And tea isn’t just for ladies who lunch – these recipes can be served at backyard parties, book clubs, or even as passed hors d’oeuvres at a slightly more formal affair.
In the accompanying post, I explain how and when to begin preparing for your “tea” in the weeks before. The recipes are designed to be freezer-friendly, which means the bulk of the baking can be completed at your leisure.
And since this is all about feasting on the cheap, feel free to substitute where you need to, i.e. the Curried Shrimp easily translates with tuna and you can skip the Smoked salmon and make little Watercress sandwiches on buttered white bread instead.
It’s helpful if you own a food processor for the biscuits, but if you don’t you can purchase a pastry blender, which will do the trick. You’ll just need a little patience for the mixing process. As with most pastries, the dry mixture with butter resembles cornmeal before you add the liquid. When preparing a pastry of any sort, don’t over mix or it will become dry. I remember when I was first married and making pancakes; they were these flat, hard discs that we’d throw out of our NYC apartment window like Frisbees!
Menu for Afternoon Tea for Twenty
Cheese Biscuits with Smoked Ham
Smoked Turkey on Orange Bread with Ginger-Apple Butter
Curried Shrimp Puffs
Smoked Salmon with Wasabi Aioli
Smoked Salmon with Dill on Toast Points
Caramelized Onion Tartlets
Lemon Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberries