Mother’s Day will soon be upon us; only a week to go. Do you have any special plans for your mums? Perhaps you will be going out to brunch, lunch or dinner and fighting the crowds for a table like we did last year. I actually prefer to not eat out because I am an impatient being and waiting for a table in a crowded restaurant with poor service is not my idea of a fun Mother’s Day.
What I would like is my family to make me brunch or an afternoon tea. However, since I really don’t like them messing up my kitchen and using my expensive equipment, I probably won’t get it.
You wonderful readers have come here looking for ideas because you are going to make your mums something special and I can at least help with that. I hope to post a few new recipes and link a couple of old ones this week that can be incorporated into a beautiful brunch or an elegant afternoon tea for your special mother or grandmother.
First up is this wonderful recipe for rhubarb curd. Gorgeous, pinkish red stalks of this tart and irresistible vegetable (often mistaken for a fruit but rhubarb is a close relative of garden sorrel) should be hitting your stores and markets now.
I have been wanting to make this rhubarb curd for months now since I first saw the recipe in my BBC Good Food magazine. I waited patiently for the rhubarb season to arrive. The magazine recipe is actually made using the early season, forced rhubarb, however, I searched high and low for it back in January and February but to no avail. Spring rhubarb season is here now so I am jumping head first into it. I love rhubarb and try to use it all season long in various desserts and such. I hope to try it in savoury applications this year because I discovered that the Iranians use rhubarb in their main dishes.
The rhubarb curd is tangy, buttery and quite mellow. It is perfect for spreading on toast, drizzling over some Angel Food cake, spooning into little tartlets or in this case, dolloped onto freshly baked English scones.
No afternoon tea is complete without the required scones, clotted cream, butter, jam and curd. These scones can very easily be served at a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch also. There is never a bad time to eat a hot scone with lashings of cream and jam, or curd.
I am always trying out scone recipes trying to find that one perfect recipe. I am going to have to devote some time to tinkering with these recipes to come up with one I like. Todays recipe is from Mary Berry, who happens to be a well known baker and competition judge in the UK. Mary’s recipe turned out really well; they rose beautifully to lofty heights, were moist and tender inside, and fairly easy to make. It’s only slightly adapted to include US cup measurements and all purpose flour, which everyone in the US has in their pantry, instead of self raising (which I think everyone in the UK has in theirs!)
Serves: 2 jars/10 scones
- 6 large stalks/600g rhubarb, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 15 tablespoons/200g butter, diced
- 4 teaspoons cornflour/cornstarch
- ¾ cup/175g caster/superfine sugar
- grenadine or natural food colour, optional
- 3 cups/450g all purpose/plain flour
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons/75g butter, chilled and diced
- ¼ cup/50g sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup/225mL milk, approx
- Chop the rhubarb in a blender or food processor, getting it as fine as possible.
- Set a sieve over a bowl and pour in the ground rhubarb.
- Let the rhubarb drain out the juice.
- Press on the pulp to get out as much juice as possible.
- Add the eggs, butter, cornstarch, sugar and 250 ml/1 cup of the rhubarb juice, saving the rest, into a pan set over very low heat.
- Whisk until the butter has melted and then stir constantly until the curd begins to thicken.
- Don't raise the heat or you will curdle the eggs.
- Make sure to stir around the edges as this is where it might start to stick first.
- When the curd begins to bubble, strain the curd into a clean bowl to catch any curdled eggs.
- Stir in ½ cup/100mL more of the reserved juice and add a small splash of grenadine or food colouring, if desired.
- Place in fridge to chill.
- Once cold, check to see if you want the taste a bit sharper and then add a splash more of the rhubarb juice.
- Spoon into jars.
- Makes 2 12oz jars.
- Curd will keep in the fridge for a week.
- Preheat oven to 400℉/200℃ and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Beat the eggs in a measuring cup and add milk to make up to 1¼ cup/300mL
- Put aside two tablespoons for brushing on top.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl a couple of times.
- Add the chilled butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Doesn't have to be too fine, a few lumps of butter are fine.
- Add the milk and egg mixture and gently bring the dough together.
- If it looks a bit dry, add a bit from the reserved milk egg mixture.
- Pat gently into a circle 1 inch/2cm high.
- Using a 2"/4cm cutter, stamp out scones.
- Put the scraps back together and stamp out the rest of the scones.
- Should be able to get 8-10 scones depending on the size of your cutter.
- Press the cutter straight down, without twisting, so you get even rise on the scones.
- Place on the baking sheet and brush just the tops with the egg milk mixture.
- Bake in the oven for about 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Serve immediately with the rhubarb curd, jam and clotted cream.
The English Scone recipe can do double duty as a base for strawberry shortcakes, another great addition to any brunch or afternoon tea table. Fresh, ripe strawberries macerated in some sugar and crushed slightly to release some of their ruby red juice, make a perfect filling and topping for the rich, buttery scones. A billowy, dollop of freshly whipped cream completes the ensemble.
For a savoury addition to your brunch or tea, consider adding an exotic mushroom tart:
or some Kale, Potato, Feta Phyllo Rolls:
I hope these give you some ideas for treating your mother in style. I know I would love to be pampered like this!
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!