Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Celebrating the Royal Birth with PG Tips and some Scrummy Crisp Lemon Biscuits

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To celebrate the birth of the latest heir apparent to the British throne, PG tips has developed a new take on the traditional cuppa to wet the baby’s head – a ‘royal-tea cup’ cocktail.

Working with Rebecca Seal, drinks expert from Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, the Fruit Cup style cocktail takes inspiration straight from the royal wedding day to combine details from the pair’s nuptials with quintessentially English ingredients, resulting in a rich and refreshing PG tipple packed full of Britishness and served in dainty tea cups.

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Ingredients in a PG tips ‘royal-tea cup’ include:

  • Strawberries – as a major crop in Cambridgeshire, these summery English berries are perfect to include as part of a royal celebration
  • Rose petals – two new rose bushes were named after the happy couple and planted in the grounds of Windsor Castle and sugar roses were used to decorate their eight-tier wedding cake
  • Sparkling wine – English sparkling wine was served to guests at the bride and groom’s wedding breakfast
  • PG tips The Rich One – like red wine, all tea contains tannins, which gives drinks a wonderfully rich flavour.  We’ve used PG tips The Rich One for its full-bodied taste
  • Gin – a quintessentially British ingredient and, according to Rebecca Seal, the botanicals used to make gin (like juniper) perfectly complement the flavours in tea
  • Cucumber – from a dainty finger sandwich at traditional afternoon tea
  • Apple juice -  from the fruit trees of the great British orchards
  • Elderflower – from the hedgerows that line England’s green and pleasant land
  • Mint - from English country gardens
A ‘royal-tea cup’ cocktail can be made either with or without alcohol and is perfect for a sunny garden party, to have with afternoon tea or as an aperitif before a barbecue.

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PG tips Royal-tea Cup Cocktail Recipe:
To enjoy a very British punch in celebration of a potential future king, the below recipe makes 10-12 teacups or 6-8 longer drinks -

Ingredients:
  • 6 British strawberries with the core removed
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, ripped
  • 100ml freshly boiled water
  • 1 PG tips The Rich One teabag
  • 75g sugar
  • 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 ½ lemons)
  • ½ an unwaxed lemon’s rind, peeled and chopped
  • 15ml elderflower cordial
  • 100ml English apple juice
  • 200-400ml gin
  • 350ml soda water or sparkling water
  • 350ml English sparkling wine (or cava)
For non-alcoholic punch:
Omit the gin and sparkling wine and use 150ml apple juice and 550ml soda water instead

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Garnish:
  • Lots of fresh ice in big chunks
  • Slices of cucumber skin
  • Rose petals
  • Slices of strawberries  
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Method:

Step 1: In a pestle and mortar, roughly crush the strawberries and mint leaves together

Step 2: Mix the crushed mint and strawberries with the hot water, PG tips The Rich One teabag, sugar, lemon juice and rind then stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to stand for 8-10 minutes, then strain, reserving the syrup

Step 3: In a large bowl or jug, mix the syrup with the elderflower, apple juice and gin to taste. (The mix can be chilled for a few hours at this point until ready to serve.)

Step 4: When ready to serve, add large blocks of ice, the soda water and sparkling wine. Stir gently to combine

Step 5: To serve, line teacups with a sliver of cucumber skin, shaved using a potato peeler, then fill the cup with fresh ice. Serve using a ladle

Step 6: Garnish with a red rose petal and a slice of strawberry in the shape of a heart

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I did the non-alcoholic version of this delightful little tipple and we quite enjoyed! Except for the cucumber skins . . . I thought they added a bitter touch which I didn't like very much, so I got rid of mine . . . so did the Toddster.

Of course, you know we did more than drink.  I had to make something to eat along with our little "tipple," and I baked some beautifully crisp lemon crisp biscuits!  Celebrations always call for something  REALLY special don't they?   And these crisp little biscuits are just perfect for that!

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This is a very, verrrrrry old recipe, gleaned from the cardboard covering of a package of margarine many years ago.  My mother had ripped it off and it lay hidden in her red Co-op cookbook for many years.  I cannot remember my mother ever baking these, but I have  baked them many times.

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The original recipe called for hard margarine, but I have always used butter.  I figure if they add stuff and chemicals to make margarine hard etc., . . . I don't need it in my veins.   I'd prefer to have natural vein cloggers.

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These are a slice and bake cookie.  I've never been able to get them to come out perfectly round, but that doesn't matter.  They are crisp and sweet and buttery . . . with a hint of lemon as well as ginger, which is a perfect combination I think.  I added the lemon sugar garnish a while back.  It just made sense and was the nicest addition I thought.

So, what are you waiting for?    Let's get baking!

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*Lemon Crisps*
Makes 5 dozen
A crisp and buttery slice and bake cookie flavoured with lemon and ginger and sprinkled with lemon sugar before baking.  Delicious! 

115g of unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
190g of golden caster sugar (1 cup)
1 medium free range egg
1 TBS finely grated lemon zest
2 TBS lemon juice
245g of plain flour (1 3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger 

To top:
2 dessertspoons of granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 

Rub the sugar and lemon zest together until very fragrant. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and lemon juice to combine.  Whisk together the flour, salt, soda and ginger.   Stir this into the wet ingredients, blending in well.   Shape into two 1 1/2 inch in diameter cylinders.  Wrap well and chill until very firm.

When ready to bake rub the topping ingredients together until fragrant and preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Line several baking sheets with baking paper.   Set aside.

Cut the rolls with a very sharp knife into 1/4 inch thick slices.   Place these on the baking trays.  Sprinkle each with a bit of the lemon sugar.   Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden around the edges.   Allow to cool on the baking sheets for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. 

Store in an airtight container.


2 comments:

  1. PG + lemon biscuits = my recipe for happiness !

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE PG Tips. I live in Ohio, and have not yet seen "the Rich one", but thoroughly enjoy the classic version. A dear friend of mine told me about PG Tips and even shared a few precious teabags with me several years ago and I. Got. Hooked! It is like a special treat to drink it - and I can ONLY imagine how lovely the "Royal-Tea Cup" cocktail is - sounds delicious!

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