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#1036 - Cooking at Downton Abbey
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One of Public Television's most welcome gifts of recent years has been "Downton Abbey." Covering much the same ground as "Upstairs Downstairs," the series depicts the lives of the masters and servants in an enormous English stately home circa 1914. As you might imagine, there's some pretty interesting food being served up at Downton Abbey. We invited Chef Therese Harding of Classic Catering to discuss Mrs. Pattmore's kitchen.
Of course one of the standard treats at any stately house was afternoon tea, an elaborate affair featuring carefully brewed tea, sweet and savory treats, and more than a few calories. Here are some key elements of a good High Tea.
Instructions for a perfect cup of tea for one:
Use 1 tea bag or 1 ½ tsp of loose tea per cup.
1-Boil water on the stove in your tea kettle.
2-Pour some water in to heat the teapot where tea will steep, then pour the water out.
3-Add your tea and enough water to fill your cup. Allow the tea to steep for 2 minutes.
4-Remove the teabag or tea ball.
Scientists have discovered that the key to the best tasting brew is to let it sit for six minutes before drinking. This allows the ‘cuppa’ to reach its optimum temp of 60 degrees centigrade.
For stronger tea increase the amount of tea, but not the steep time:
Green Tea 1 minute
Black Tea 2-3 minutes
Herbal 4-5 minutes
Roobios 5-6 minutes
Oolong 3 minutes
Remember: over steeping will make teas bitter.
Earl Grey Crème Anglaise for Apple Charlotte
¾ cup milk
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 bags Earl Grey tea
-Bring milk and vanilla to a simmer in a sauce pan. Add tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes; remove tea bags from milk, making sure to squeeze out all of the liquid.
-Whisk egg yolks and sugar thoroughly until the mixture becomes pale yellow. Whisk ½ the milk into the eggs, mixing constantly.
-Return mixture back to sauce pan with remaining milk and cook over medium heat. Do NOT let boil. The cream is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Rock Cakes (Drop Scones)
1 cup Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 cup Soft Butter (margarine may be substituted)
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Currants
1 medium Egg
2 Tbsp Milk
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar for sprinkling
1 - Heat oven to 400F.
2 - Mix flour and baking powder into a large bowl; add softened butter; lightly rub together with fingertips until mixture resembles large crumbs.
3 - Add sugar and currants; mix until incorporated.
4 - Add egg and 1 Tbsp milk and mix to create stiff dough. Add 1 Tbsp milk until smooth.
5 - Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
6 - Using a tablespoon, divide the dough into 12 mounds evenly spaced on 2 baking sheets.
7 - Sprinkle with dark brown sugar.
8 - Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.