Not that kind of Tea Party.
My Tea Party is all the things a reactionary political movement is not –subtle, evocative, and charming. It showcases a trio of tea-flavored Panna Cotta, including genteel German Chamomile, heady Matcha Green Tea, and stalwart Earl Grey. Of course you can make just one, but how insane is it to offer your guests a selection?
CHAMOMILE, MATCHA, & EARL GREY PANNA COTTA
for one type of panna cotta (4 half cup servings):
2 cups of the best heavy cream*
¼ cup of superfine or granulated sugar
tea of your choice
(4 tbsp dried chamomile; 2 tbsp Matcha green tea powder; 2 Earl Grey teabags)
2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons cold water
Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan on medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is steaming. Remove from heat and stir in the tea of your choice. Let this steep for about 15-30 minutes depending on the tea (Matcha and Earl Grey will be relatively quick, chamomile needs longer). In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and stir to mix. Add the warm cream mixture to the gelatin water and stir to combine. Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into jars or cups and chill until firm, 2-4 hours. If desired, you can mix concentrated tea with gelatin to add a layer of color to the top of the Panna Cotta. *You can substitute with milk if you don’t want the Panna Cotta to be super creamy.
LEMON POPPY SEED SHORTBREAD
for about two dozen cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted high quality butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat well. In another bowl, combine the sifted flour, poppy seeds, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 3 hours (up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months). Preheat oven to 325° F. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Return dough to refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes. Cut the shortbread with a cookie cutter or use a knife to slice the dough. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. If your dough has become warm, return it to the refrigerator until it’s nice and firm (keeping the dough cold means it will not spread as much during baking). Bake until pale golden all over, 20-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.