|You need to own this. Drink tea while you read.|
1) Enjoying cucumber sandwiches and macaroons at my favorite tea shop in downtown Montreal
2) Reading Jane Austen
Apparently, I'm not alone. There's a new book out called Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson that I just picked up. This delightful book starts with morning tea time and works its way to evening tea, sharing stories, historical background, excerpts from Jane's novels and letters, illustrations from the time, and (most importantly to us), recipes. Before I share a recipe with you though, I thought this quote from the book's forward would give you all a piece of background into how important tea (and afternoon tea) was in Jane's time.
|Yeah, I have a Jane Austen mug. I'm cool like that.|
And without further ado...
(full disclosure: the cheesecake loving people below are not Fanny and Edmund from Mansfield Park, but the recipe reminded me of the above scene, which made me swoon and I couldn't help but share it.)
Lemon Cheesecakes for Fanny and Edward
Excerpted from Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson
2 large lemons
4 oz/110 g/ 1/2 cup white sugar
6 egg yolks
8 oz/225 g/1 cup unsalted butter
One 15 oz (425 g) container of ricotta cheese, or another light curd cheese
One 17 oz (490 g) package frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4).
Peel lemons; reserve the pulp and juice for other uses (such as lemon ice cream). Cut the peel into small chunks, boil about 45 minutes or until very tender (use a nonreactive pan, such as stainless steel), then drain. In a food processor, process the lemon peel and sugar until finely ground, add the egg yolks, butter and cheese, and then process until well blended. Cut the puff pastry into circles big enough to line the bottom and sides of your muffin tins and press into the tins. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the pastry, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until the cheesecakes are puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (30–40 minutes). Chill. These look pretty good garnished with a curl or two of lemon zest. Makes at least 24 muffin-sized cheesecakes.
Happy Afternoon Tea Day!
Oh and because I can, I thought I'd also take a moment and share my birthday cake from this past weekend. (It's on theme. Surprise, surprise :)
|Thanks Creative Cake Shop!|
Who would not want to sit down with Jane Austen and join her in a cup of tea? Here for the first time is a book that shares the secrets of one of her favorite rituals.
Tea figures prominently in Jane Austen's life and work. At the center of almost every social situation in her novels one finds tea. In Emma, does Miss Bates drink coffee? Of course not: 'No coffee, I thank you, for me—never take coffee. A little tea if you please.' In Pride and Prejudice, what is one of the supreme honors Mr. Collins can envision Lady Catherine bestowing on Elizabeth Bennet and her friends? Why, drinking tea with her, naturally.
Tea with Jane Austen begins with tea drinking in the morning and ends with tea in the evening, at balls and other gatherings. Each chapter includes a description of how tea was taken at a particular place or time of day, along with history, recipes, excerpts from Austen's novels and letters and illustrations from the time.