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I recently hosted a tea party to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend.  We both love tea and sweets and opportunities to speak in fake British accents so we had a jolly good time!
On the menu:
Pumpkin spice scones
Crumpets
Clotted cream and strawberry jam
Cucumber sandwiches
Gingersnaps
Fresh strawberries
Assorted teas
The gingersnaps, crumpets and jam were store-bought to save on time.  The gingersnaps are Nyakers brand and they were thin and crispy, just right for dunking in tea.  They were also perfect as the base for pumpkin pie crust instead of graham crackers that I made the next day.  I can’t recall the brand of the vegan crumpets but found them at FreshCo.
The sandwiches were filled with Tofutti Garlic and Herb Better Than Cream Cheese, baby spinach and cucumbers.  The scones were an adaptation of the sweet potato biscuits that I’ve been making for years (see below).   Being October, I thought pumpkin would be a nice variation.
So, what is the difference between a scone and a biscuit anyway?  It seems there is a fine line between the terms but biscuits are more of a savoury dinner food (often accompanied by gravy) and scones are a bit sweeter and more of an accompaniment for tea or breakfast.  In the UK, biscuits are more what we think of as cookies in North America, and as we were having as proper an Enligh tea party as we could, scones they were.  I used 2 tbsp of sugar for a not-too-sweet scone since I knew I’d be slathering them in jam, but you may want to increase to 3 tbsp to have them taste more like dessert.
Pumpkin Spice Scones
 1/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-3 tbsp dry sweetener
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
6 tbsp chilled vegan margarine
3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Pour the lemon juice or vinegar into the soy milk and let sit for a few minutes to make a buttermilk.  Meanwhile, add all dry ingredients in a food processor and mix well.  Add the chilled margarine until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the pumpkin purée to the buttermilk and mix well.  Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture, careful not to over-mix.  Drop large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Makes 6-8 scones.
Variation: Sweet Potato Dinner Biscuits: Substitute sweet potato purée for the pumpkin purée (you can use a small jar of baby food to save time) and use 2 tbsp of dry sweetener and omit the cinnamon and nutmeg.
I was enchanted with the idea of making my own vegan clotted cream.  The inspiration came from Steph’s Cup of Tea blog though I’ve changed the measurements to be have more a cream cheese taste.
Clotted Cream
6 tbsp Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
4 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tsp agave or maple syrup
Blend in a food processor, taste and add more sweetener if desired.  Use as a spread on scones or muffins.
Happy birthday, Melanie!
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