Made my me :). High tea is an English tradition, normally eaten at about 4 in the afternoon. My grandmother, who went to England years back, brought back the idea at that Christmas, and ever since it has been tradition for us all the enjoy a late luncheon with tea on boxing day (the English term for the day after Christmas). For the past two years, I have gotten to be in charge of menu planning and putting the meal on for everyone (a job I take very seriously)! This year, however, the Grandparents are leaving on boxing day, so we decided to enjoy high tea today, the 23rd.
High tea has three levels, and though I (with my strange vegan gluten-free ways) did not stick to a traditional spread, the way it goes is: 1st level is savories– tends to be small sandwiches, second tier is semi-sweet foods, and the last level is sweets and pastry.
Here is what I prepared for high tea, accompanied by some delicious black tea:
Cucumber miso mini-sandwiches (I baked mini-loaves of gluten-free bread), and open faced pecan butter raspberry preserve (that my grandma made) sammies.
Also accompanied by “toothpicked” layers of tomato, cabbage leaf, and cucumber with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Second tier included little cups of pomegranate seeds (the whole family are pom freaks, so I spent 25 minutes pre-picking out a couple poms for us to enjoy by the handful!), pear rings (pictured), and my first ever attempt at “bean nuts”. I coated pinto beans in stevia, molasses, and spices, baked, and then coated with extra spices and a sweetener, with some raisins tossed in. It tasted a lot more like a granola, which gave me some good ideas for the future!
The dessert tier (best part!) was a light lemon vanilla filling sandwiched between soft coconut macaroons. All sugar-free! The filling was very pretty, made with silken tofu, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon oil, stevia, a bit of agave, and a pinch salt in the blender. Also featured was a super thin salted “caramel” chocolate candy, cut into small squares. That was made of date paste, thinly spread on parchment paper and baked for 5-10 minutes, with a thin layer of bakers 100% cocoa content chocolate melted on. I sprinkled on a bit of sea salt, then froze to cut them into squares. They were soft and my little sister ate half the batch! They were indeed divine :).
All in all, I had a great time. All the recipes (every component) was a recipe I made up on the spot or already had in my arsenal, too!
In other news, Junior arrived today, and gets to stay for Christmas!
That makes me very happy…