August 16, 2017

afternoon tea bites

Every summer when I visit Savannah,
my first stop in the city is Gryphon.

Gryphon is an ultra-hip tea room
located in the heart of Savannah,
on a historic corner overlooking
Madison Square.

In its intimate book-filled interior,
I feel perfectly at home and oh, sooo happy!

I always order the tea service complete
with a variety of mini sandwiches,
scones, tarts and fruit.

These two make-at-home recipes
remind me of my favorite days in Savannah 
and noshing at the Gryphon Tea Room.  

Very Berry Cream Tartlets

¾  c. (1 ½  sticks) butter, softened
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼  tsp. salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

Pastry Cream:
6 large egg yolks
¾  c. granulated sugar
6 tbsp. cake flour (not self-rising)
¼  tsp. salt
2 ¼  c. whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split
½  tsp. almond extract             
½ c. sliced almonds, toasted

small mint leaves
edible chamomile flowers
confectioners sugar


Make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 6 (4 ½ -inch-wide) mini tartlet pans with removable bottoms.

In medium bowl with mixer on high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg yolk, then flour until just combined. If dough is too soft to handle, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 6 equal mounds. With lightly floured hands, press into bottoms and up sides of prepared tartlet pans in even layer; place pans on cookie sheet.

Cover each tartlet with small sheet parchment; add enough dried beans or pie weights to fill bottoms. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove parchment and weights; bake another 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool tartlet shells completely on wire rack.

Make Pastry Cream: Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, cake flour and salt until smooth.

In 3-quart saucepan, heat milk on medium-high until steaming and bubbles form around edge; remove from heat. To egg mixture, add splash of hot milk until smooth, whisking. Continue slowly adding and whisking in hot milk until half of milk is incorporated. Whisk in remaining hot milk until mixture is smooth. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook on medium 5 to 7 minutes or until very thick and bubbling, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.

Scrape seeds from vanilla and whisk into pastry cream, along with almond extract. Using med-mesh sieve, strain pastry cream into medium bowl, pushing through with rubber spatula. Discard any solids. Cover cream with plastic, pressing against surface.

Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Divide almonds among bottoms of tartlet shells. Spread or pipe chilled pastry cream into tartlet shells. Top one-third of surface of tartlets with berries, mint and flowers. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Minty Pea and Pecorino Finger Sandwiches

8 oz. frozen (thawed) or fresh (cooked) peas
1/2 c. grated Pecorino cheese
3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp. snipped chives
White bread
In food processor, pulse peas, pecorino cheese, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper until mostly smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. Fold in fresh mint and snipped chives.

Serve sandwiched on soft white bread. Cut off crusts and cut into squares or, with 2-inch round cutter, cut into circles.

Good Housekeeping magazine suggests
serving these with pimiento cheese and 
crab, mango and cucumber sandwiches for
a lovely variety that looks
as good as it tastes.

ciao! fabiana

photo & recipe credit:
Good Housekeeping

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