Tea time isn’t exactly an American tradition. In fact, where I live, if you ask for tea, it comes ice cold and sugary sweet. But over the last few years a sweet friend of mine, who is clearly more refined than I am, has hosted several teas, usually to mark the start of a new season of Downton Abbey (I know it’s over now, and I don’t want to talk about it.). The beautiful spread of delicate tea cups, piping hot earl gray tea, cucumber sandwiches, clotted cream, and of course, scones was enough to make anyone consider themselves British for the evening.
The little gardeners have been listening to The Chronicles of Narnia as their bedtime reading for the past few months. We started in the beginning with The Magician’s Nephew and are now in the final book, The Last Battle. It’s an incredible series, and my husband and I looked forward to bedtime reading as much as the kids did (the hubs even asked one night for “just one more chapter!”). In the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, sweet Lucy meets a faun called Mr. Tumnus in her first trip into the land of Narnia. They strike up an immediate friendship over a tea of cake, jam, and toast with sardines. Clearly her parents never reinforced the whole “don’t talk to strangers, and certainly don’t go to their home five minutes after you meet them” rule. But thankfully, everything turns out just fine.
To mark the end of our Narnia journey, we decided to host a little Tea with Mr. Tumnus party with a few other homeschooling friends. The kids were thrilled to use real tea cups with saucers, tiny “silver” forks and spoons, and to have treats like pear cake, lemon glazed scones, and turkish delight. (Turkish delight is also from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I was able to order a small box from Amazon; it was essentially a square gummy-type candy coated in powdered sugar.) A fun time was had by all, including the moms, since we got to chat and enjoy scones and tea as well.
If you’ve never had scones and are wondering what they are, they’re a bread (can be sweet or savory) with a slight crumbly texture and usually in a triangular shape. I decided to create a simple and slightly sweet whole wheat scone with a zesty lemon glaze to brighten up the taste. Here’s what we did:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine soft whole wheat flour (or all-purpose or regular whole wheat in a pinch) in a bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add in cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to mix in. You want the mixture to look crumbly with no big chunks of butter.
In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt and milk. Add to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Your dough should be all together in a ball, but if it’s too crumbly, and not coming together, add more milk a tablespoon at a time.
Place your scone dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, and form it into a flattened round shape about one inch thick. (I divided my dough and did two rounds since kids were going to be eating these. This made perfect sized scones for their little hands.)
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and on top. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for several minutes. Then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
While cooling, make the lemon glaze by combining powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in small bowl. Stir until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. If you need to thicken your glaze, add more sugar, if you need to thin it, use more lemon juice (or milk for a less lemony taste). Place a sheet of wax paper under your wire rack and drizzle the lemon glaze on top of each scone. (The wax paper makes clean up a breeze.)