There is no more fitting time of year for an afternoon tea than Mother’s Day and when we gather with Jenni Kayne, we’re talking tea like nobody’s business. Jenni’s last gathering featuring Valerie Confections was just too delectable to forget, so again Jenni called upon Valerie for a little classic jam, scone, and pétits fours loveliness to treat a few of her favorite local moms and babes.
With a gorgeous party spread by Valerie, little else is needed to make party guests swoon, but, for Mother’s Day, Jenni decided to break out all the stops and invite one of our favorite florists, Kristen of Moon Canyon, along with the incredible party-planning ladies of Bash, Please – also a TCM fave.
To learn all the details about the afternoon tea’s decor, from the Jenni Kayne-inspired pre-fall Liberty Prints, to Bash, Please’s sweet, homemade craft ideas for children and moms alike, visit ripplustan for all you need to recreate the look at home!
As for the recipes, we’re sharing a slew of sweets today and tomorrow here on TCM. Make plans to try your hand at these old-fashioned recipes for rose petal pétits fours, scones, lemon cream and – A Valerie Confections must – strawberry-vanilla bean jam. Worth the effort, and sure to please moms young and old this weekend at a cozy brunch or afternoon tea…
Crème Fraîche Scones
Makes 12 scones
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp (2.5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 cup (8 ounces) crème fraîche
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a 13-by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is in pea-sized pieces, about 4 minutes.
3. Whisk together the crème fraîche, 1 egg, the lemon zest, and juice in a small bowl, then fold into the flour mixture until just combined; do not overmix—you want to see bits of butter in the dough.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cool work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough very gently until it is ¾ inch thick; be careful not to overwork the dough. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out scones and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Gather the dough scraps together, reroll, and cut out more scones.
5. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg. Sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the scones are lightly golden. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Storing: The scones can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Tip: If you want to freeze the scones, reduce the baking time by 2 minutes, pulling them from the oven before they turn golden. Cool completely, then store in Ziploc freezer bags for up to 2 months. Reheat the frozen scones in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.
All recipes excerpted from Sweet by Valerie Gordon (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.
Makes about 1 1/3 cups
½ cup (4 ounces) well-chilled heavy cream
½ cup (4 ounces) Lemon Curd (see below)
¼ tsp grated lemon zest
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer), whip the heavy cream until it thickens. Add the lemon curd and lemon zest and continue whipping until medium peaks form.
To make the lemon curd:
Heat the lemon zest, juice, 6 tablespoons of the butter, and ¾ cup of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture gently simmers.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), beat the eggs, yolks, and the remaining ¼ cup sugar until pale and light, about 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the warm juice mixture and continue beating until incorporated-.
Set a double boiler over medium heat or fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the lemon mixture into the top of the double boiler or into a medium heatproof bowl set over the pan of water; lower the heat slightly. Stir the curd constantly as it slowly thickens, about 10 minutes.
When the curd has reached 170°F on a candy or instant-read thermometer and coats the back of the spoon, remove it from the heat. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the curd until it melts.
Pour the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or other container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming and allow the curd to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. (The curd can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks.)
Strawberry–Vanilla Bean Jam
Makes six 12-ounce jars
6 pints (about 4 pounds) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
3 cups (21 ounces) sugar, or more to taste
1 to 2 vanilla beans, split
1. Mix the strawberries with the sugar in a medium bowl.
2. Using a small paring knife, split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds and bean to the strawberries, cover, and set aside for 30 minutes, or macerate for as long as overnight in the
3. Sterilize six 12-ounce canning jars and lids.
4. Put two small ceramic plates in the freezer.
5. Pour the strawberry mixture into a large pot and set over high heat. Cook, stirring with a large wooden spoon or a heatproof silicone spatula, scraping the edges and bottom of the pot to prevent scorching, until the berries soften and begin to break down, approximately 15 minutes. If the jam bubbles up too much, lower the heat to medium. Once the bubbling subsides, after 5 to 10 minutes, the jam will begin to thicken.
6. Taste the jam for sweetness. If you want, add a little more sugar ¼ cup at a time, taste, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. If you want a stronger vanilla flavor, add the second vanilla bean.
7. Check the set of the jam by putting a small dollop of hot jam on one of the chilled plates. Run a finger through it: if your finger leaves a track, the jam is ready; if not, continue cooking for a few minutes and repeat the test. Remove from the heat.
8. Remove the vanilla bean(s). Pour the jam into the sterilized jars and seal with the warm lids. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.