Thursday, July 28, 2011

Have a Little Lemon with Your Tea

People have been putting lemon in their tea for a long while.  In my last blog, I wrote about mouthfeel.  Lemons are sour and there is a mouthfeel to them.  Just thinking about the taste of lemon, makes the saliva in your mouth flow. The sour flavor component helps to perk up flavors in food.  Some people really enjoy the flavor lemon brings to tea-especially some black teas!

Drinking tea and pairing foods that have lemon as an ingredient can also create a wonderful balance of flavor and make for a very nice pairing.  At the Williams-Sonoma Artisan's Market in Atlanta, I brought home some wonderful lemon accoutrements to my tea experience.  A colleague of mine, Alisa Barry, owns the lovely Bella Cucina .  She has some of the most amazing artisan food products.  You might have seen her products sold at specialty food stores around the United States.

The first Bella Cucina item I chose was the Meyer Lemon Relish.  It is a delectable mixture of Meyer Lemons, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Shallots, Vinegar, Lemon Thyme, and Salt.  It is perfect to spread over a sliced baguette for a little afternoon snack.  It is lovely paired with a hearty black tea such as an Indian Assam or Kenyan tea. 

I also chose to pick up some of her delicious lemon curd.  I am a lemon curd girl from way back and LOVE it on my scones.  My kids LOVE it too, so I had to hide my stash from them until I was ready to eat it.  The lemon curd is a nice balance of lemon to sweet and perfect on a scone.  Below is my recipe for a basic scone that is calling out for some lemon curd to go with it. 

Basic Sweet Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or mixer until it looks crumbly. Add vanilla to cream and then pour into flour mixture and mix with hands until it forms a ball. Remove dough from bowl, place on a lightly floured surface, and roll out to about ½-inch thickness. Be careful not to overwork the dough or the scones will become tough. Cut with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Makes approximately 12. (You may use different size cutters but be sure to adjust you cooking time if you do. The larger the size, the longer it needs to cook and vice versa.

If you live in the Atlanta area, you can visit Williams-Sonoma Artisan Market.  They will have them on August 6 and also September 3.  If you aren't in the area, you may order any Bella Cucina products online here.  Do you love lemon with your tea?

Happy Sipping a Little Lemon with my Tea, Lisa

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