It was another hot, humid and sticky weekend kicking off Erin Feis in Peoria. With my fourth year of serving afternoon tea in the Cultural Village came some “taking of liberties”. Herbs, herbal history, herbal remedies was the theme and I chose recipes that highlighted different ones, but not necessarily traditional Irish sweets. I even had one from Provence, but I figured since Brittany is one of the six Celtic nations that was a valid stretch. I very much enjoy talking food, doing a bit of research, and baking different recipes each year. I hope the folks who attended found some delight in it too. Thanks for coming out in the heat.
Irish Afternoon Tea Menu
Irish Breakfast Tea
Lavender Scones with Clotted Cream and Lemon Curd
Cucumber Sandwiches with Dill
Herb de Provence Orange Butter Cookies
Lemon Fennel Pound Cake (see below)
Vanilla-Rose Water Cupcakes
*thank you Peoria Academy for donating many of the fresh herbs and flowers from the School Garden
Lemon Fennel Pound Cake
*recipe courtesy of Season to Taste, by Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
pinch of salt
5 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted and crushed
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat over 325 degrees. Grease and flour 9 inch tube pan with removable bottom. In large bowl cream butter, sugar, salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, stirring in bit of flour after third egg. Add remaining flour, fennel, zest and mix until combined. Add vanilla and lemon juice and blend. Pour batter into pan and bake 1 hour. Remove cake from oven and cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Store covered in plastic wrap or foil. Note: my cake baked in almost half the time so watch carefully. I added a lemon glaze over the top mixing sifted powdered sugar with lemon juice and lemon zest.
Lavender Scone recipe note: I mixed all my dry ingredients together, cut in cold butter, and then added the buttermilk to form the dough.