Tuesday 8 April 2008

Drip Drip Drop, Little April Showers

Dear friends,
In the tradition of yesteryear's tea party of last April, we would like to cordially invite you to take afternoon tea with us this Sunday, 6th April. The gathering will take place at ---, and will commence roughly at mid-day, finishing by about 4pm.
Regarding dress code, we hope everyone will be suitably attired in clothing dating between 1880 and 1930; for the ladies, this means tea-dresses, lace gloves, hats, parasols &c., whereas gentlemen are asked to wear suits, waistcoats, monocles, and bowler hats. Similarly, we hope to see many many moustaches.

It might just be that my friends and I really really like moustaches, but what you read above was the plan for this last Sunday; just as we'd done last year, we were going to all congregate at a nearby park dressed in period clothing for an outdoor tea party, weather permitting.

'Weather permitting' should really be emphasized in that sentence, because weather did not permit. Weather really was not bloody permitting anything. If it had drizzled, we might have persisted. Heavy rain could have been fairly depressing. SNOW BLIZZARDS, IN APRIL - I spit upon you, Weather. Pchuu.

Actually, I suspect the reason for this was that I'd organised the tea party (last year, Boy and I shared responsibilities, but he was away for the planning stage this year), so the weather was just being sadistic. People tend to like to torture me, I don't know why. Apart from the obvious reasons.

Our invitations did include an extensive list of tea party food (scones, Victoria sponges, strawberries and cream, cucumber sandwiches, &c. &c.), and one of the savoury things I'd planned to make were mini quiche tartlets - crisp shortcrust pastry; bright, juicy cherry tomatoes; colourful pieces of courgette; melted, tangy feta cheese just turning golden on the top... come on, it's practically summer in a pastry case.

Well it looks like summer's currently in the freezer, kids, and with snow this morning it may take a while for us to dare reschedule our annual tea party.

Watch there be a heatwave this weekend, now. Pchuu.

These quiche tartlets are pretty much my own recipe, if by 'my own recipe' you mean 'ripping compartments out of here, here, here, and oh, here'. I take the cheerful view that I've bastardised other people's recipes to the extent that they probably won't recognise them anymore. Plagarism for the win. On the other hand, this does mean that measurements are fairly approximate; sorry about that.

I wasn't sure if I had to bake the pastry shells blind, especially with them not being full sized, so I spent hours googling it, and then eventually stumbled across the beautiful sentence, 'if you have an Aga, there's no need to bother baking pastry blind'. I have an Aga. The rest of you can work it out for yourselves, suckers.

Courgette, Feta & Tomato Quiche Tartlets
Recipe adapted from above sources

Made 8 tartlets and one 7.5" tart for me. You could halve the ingredients if you didn't want a larger quiche, or if you have more than 8 tartlet tins (that was my downfall) make more tartlets. But you might need more pastry if you do.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 courgettes
200 g of feta cheese
cherry tomatoes, halved
3 eggs100ml milk
100ml single cream
fresh mint & basil, chopped
ground nutmeg
grated lemon zest
500g pack of bought shortcrust pastry

Heat oven to 200Cish.

1. Roll out the pastry and cut to fill small tartlets. Use fingers to mould the pastry into the cups, before pricking them with a fork and refridgerating

2. Meanwhile, fry the onions and courgette over low heat, till softened (5-7 mins) Mix egg, milk, cream, salt and pepper and the chopped herbs. Pour it over the courgette.

3. Pour the egg and vegetable mixture on top of the pastry cases. Crumble feta and add halved cherry tomatoes individually over the tops. Make sure all ingredients are evenly spread.

4. Bake until the filling is set and a knife comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. I don't really know how long it took to cook, so keep an eye on them. The larger tart needed something like 25-30 mins.

Anyone know the weather forecast for a week on Sunday? April is indeed the cruelest month. Pchuu.


test it comm said...

Those savoury tarts sound really tasty!

RecipeGirl said...

These sound great, and I wish you some sunny weather!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Heh. You let snow dampen your spirits? Shame on you - the answer is just to pour another glass... ;)

Great tartlets, BTW.

Rosie said...

Gosh Indigo those savoury tarts look delicious!!

A period tea party and then snow poor you!! Now when it happens this will be some event girl!!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

The period tea party sounds like such a great idea! With those tarts along with other gorgeous delicacies, no snow can bring you down!

Unknown said...

moustache and savoury pies? hehehe... I quite like the idea of tea party. There's a tea room nearby the town that isn't thoroughly built yet, and I am sure I am going to be a good customer!

Maria♥ said...

WOW Indigo these tarts look gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

Your tea-party sounds so fabulous. Pooh that it didn't come together.

Abitofafoodie said...

The tea-party sounds like such fun - hope the weather improves soon for you.
In the meantime, these tarts look very delicious indeed.

Anna said...

Thanks everyone who commented!

At the moment we're hoping to reschedule the tea-party for a week on Sunday, but it may be pushed further back depending on the weather forecast, haha. Eventually, I promise they'll be a tea-party post XD. Stick with me!

Anonymous said...

Oooooh I would love to be invited to a good tea party...sounds wonderful!

Pixie said...

Hey sweetie, sorry I didn't come by to comment on this ages ago- I really meant to do so.

Omg torchwood - how absolutely depressing :( hub's going to download the entire first series for me

oh and don't ask me why, but I thought you were a vegetarian! so am glad u like squid :)))

Anonymous said...

Hello :),

I'm Sophie, Key Ingredient's Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this adapted recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)


Anonymous said...

April is the cruellest month? That my friend is a T. S. Eliot allusion based on a Canterbury Tales allusion! Man we know our literature!

Tea party reschedules to Mallorca? Now there's an idea... pciture it:
it's magaluf, its chavvy, there's sun, sea and alcohol... and us in period dress on the beach sipping tea and eating quickes. I like it.


Anonymous said...

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