Scrumptious Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Fruit Bars
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Two of the season’s best treats – strawberries and rhubarb – combine to make a luscious topping for Scrumptious Strawberry Rhubarb Bars with a rich buttery shortbread base.

Step 1 – Making the Strawberry Rhubarb Juice

The first step is to make the strawberry rhubarb juice needed for the topping. This is a matter of cooking rhubarb and strawberries with a bit of lemon juice and zest and then straining the mixture to extract the juice. A large spoon can be used to gently press the mixture through a fine wire mesh sieve to extract as much juice as possible. I recommend a second straining through a clean sieve to ensure all bits of the pulp solids are strained out.

The exact amount of rhubarb/strawberry juice extracted from the rhubarb and strawberries is hard to predict with 100% accuracy because so much depends on the quality and age of the rhubarb and strawberries and their water content as well as their growing conditions. If the strained amount of juice is slightly less than the ½ cup required for the topping in this recipe, up to ½ tbsp of fresh, strained lemon juice can be added to bring the quantity to ½ cup. If the amount of strained juice results in more than ½ cup, only use the ½ cup called for in the recipe as it has been tested to achieve the optimal texture of the topping. Adding more juice than called for in the recipe without proportionately adjusting the amount of thickener will yield a topping that is too runny to cut and plate well. If you are not sure on the quality of the rhubarb and berries and how much strained juice they are likely to yield, you may wish to cook an additional ½ – 1 oz each of rhubarb and strawberries when initially making the juice to be sure you have enough to equal ½ cup strained juice.

Fruit Bars for Teatime
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Step 2 – Making the Shortbread Base

The lovely buttery rich shortbread base for these bars is par-baked then cooled slightly before the topping is added. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to make this base but a food processor could also be used. Once the base has been pressed into the pan, be sure to prick the base with the tines of a fork to allow steam to release as the base bakes and to eliminate air pockets from forming.

The base will bake for approximately 20 minutes or just until the edges of the crust start to turn very pale golden in color and start to show signs of slightly pulling away from the sides of the pan. Be careful to not overbake the crust as it will be going back into the oven when the topping is added and, if overbaked, the tender crust will become hard.

Let the base cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack before adding the topping. There is no need to let it cool completely. Leave the oven going at 325°F so it will be temperature-ready when the pan goes back into the oven.

Step 3 – Preparing the Topping

The eggs are whisked with the strawberry rhubarb juice along with the sugar and cornstarch until completely smooth. This will be a salmon-colored mixture. If you prefer a brighter, more rosy color, add a smidgeon of pink food coloring until the desired color is obtained. The photos of the bars in this posting have had a small amount of pink icing gel color added.

The topping mixture is poured over the still-warm base and baked for approximately 30-35 minutes, just until the filling is no longer jiggly in the center and is barely set.

Let the bars cool, in the pan on a wire cooling rack, at room temperature for a couple of hours then transfer them to the refrigerator to chill and fully set for at least four hours before cutting. Dip a knife in warm water and wipe dry to cut the bars, starting with trimming off all four sides of the bars. This will give lovely clean edges to every piece. I recommend dipping the knife in warm water and drying it between each cut to keep the bar edges clean and tidy.

The bars can be cut into squares or rectangles of desired size. To cut them into triangles as shown in the photos, cut the bar into four equal squares then cut each square into four triangles.

Pretty Pink Bars for Teatime
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Dust each cut bar with sifted icing sugar just at the time of serving so the powdery sugar does not dissolve into the bars and create a murky looking top.

These bars need to be kept refrigerated and will keep for up to three days in an airtight container.

Royal Albert's "Margaret" Teacup from their Sweetheart Roses Series
Teatime with Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

This is a lovely dessert and pairs well with a fine cup of tea or coffee. It’s also a lovely addition to an afternoon tea dessert plate. In fact, I included the Strawberry Rhubarb Bars on the dessert plate for my Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea.

Sweet Treats on Tea Table
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Scrumptious Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Ingredients:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Juice:
5½ oz red rhubarb stalks (weighed after leaves and root ends removed), cut into 1/2″ pieces
5½ oz strawberries, hulled and mashed with potato masher
1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Shortbread Base:
½ cup butter, cubed into 1” pieces, room temperature
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
½ tsp pure vanilla
1¼ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free 1-to-1/cup-for-cup baking flour, if needed)
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt

Topping:
2 large whole eggs, room temperature and lightly fork beaten
1 large egg yolk, room temperature and lightly fork beaten
½ cup strawberry-rhubarb juice (recipe above)
¾ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2½ tbsp cornstarch
Pinch salt
Pink food coloring (optional)

Icing Sugar for dusting Bars

Method:

Strawberry-Rhubarb Juice:

Combine rhubarb, mashed strawberries, and lemon juice into a pot. Cover and bring mixture just to the boiling point over medium heat then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until rhubarb and strawberry mixture is soft and mushy. Add the lemon zest for the last five minutes of cooking. Using a potato masher, mash the mixture to further break down the rhubarb and strawberries as much as possible.

Strain rhubarb/strawberry mixture through a fine wire mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl to extract the juice. Use the back of a large spoon to gently press the pulp to extract more juice. Discard the rhubarb/strawberry pulp. Straining the juice a second time through a clean fine wire mesh sieve to refine it further and remove any traces of the fruit pulp impurities is recommended. Discard any remaining pulp and solids. This should equal ½ cup of strained strawberry-rhubarb juice needed for the recipe. If it strains out more than ½ cup of juice, only use the ½ cup called for in the recipe. If it strains out slightly less than ½ cup of juice, up to ½ tablespoon of strained freshly squeezed lemon juice may be added. (See Note below)

Shortbread Base:
Line 8”x8” baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough paper overhang on sides to grip and lift baked bar from pan for cutting. Spray parchment paper lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter at medium-high speed. Reduce speed to medium low and blend in sugars. Add vanilla. Beat for approximately 45 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula if necessary to ensure all ingredients are fully blended. With mixer set to lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Once all the flour has been added, increase speed slightly to medium-low and blend mixture just until ingredients are incorporated.

Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Prick base all over with tines of fork to allow steam to release as the base bakes and to eliminate air pockets from forming.

Bake base approximately 20 minutes, or just until edges of crust start to turn very pale golden in color and start to show signs of slightly pulling away from pan sides. Do not overbake or crust will be hard. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes before adding topping. Keep oven on at 325°F.

Topping:
Combine and whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in small bowl. Set aside.

While the base is cooling slightly, begin to prepare the strawberry-rhubarb topping by whisking the whole eggs and egg yolk together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the strained ½ cup of strawberry-rhubarb juice along with the sugar-cornstarch mixture until mixture is smooth. To achieve a bright rosy color, add a small amount of pink food coloring, if desired, and mix well into topping ingredients so color is evenly distributed.

Pour mixture over slightly cooled, but still warm, crust. Bake at 325°F for 30-35 minutes or until topping is no longer jiggly in the center and is barely set. Cool bar at room temperature for a couple of hours in pan on wire cooling rack then transfer bar to refrigerator for about 4 hours to fully set before cutting.

To Cut Bars:
Using the excess parchment paper as handles, lift bar from pan and transfer to cutting board. Peel away and discard parchment paper. With a sharp knife, cut off rough edges on all sides of bars, rinsing knife in warm water between each cut. The bar may be cut into squares or rectangles of desired size. Or, to cut into triangles, cut the bar into four equal squares and then cut each smaller square into four triangles.

Dust tops of squares, rectangles, or triangles with sifted icing sugar just at the time of serving.

Store bars, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to three days.

Yield: 1 – 8” pan

NOTE: The exact amount of rhubarb/strawberry juice extracted from the rhubarb and strawberries is hard to predict with 100% accuracy because so much depends on the quality and age of the rhubarb and strawberries and their water content as well as their growing conditions. If the strained amount is slightly less than the ½ cup required for the topping in this recipe, up to ½ tbsp of fresh, strained lemon juice can be added to bring the quantity to ½ cup. If the amount of strained juice results in more than ½ cup, only use the ½ cup called for in the recipe as it has been tested to achieve the optimal texture of the topping. Adding more juice than required without proportionately adjusting the amount of thickener called for in the recipe will yield a topping that is too runny to cut and plate well. If you are not sure on the quality of the rhubarb and berries and how much strained juice they are likely to yield, you may wish to cook an additional ½ – 1 oz each of rhubarb and strawberries when initially making the juice to be sure you have enough to equal ½ cup strained juice.

If you have made this recipe and enjoyed it and/or wish to share it with your friends and family, please do so on social media and share the direct link to this posting from my website.

 

Connect with My Island Bistro Kitchen by:

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Following “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

(and you can pin the Pinterest-ready photo at the end of this posting to your favorite Pinterest boards)

Scrumptious Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

These showy and scrumptious Strawberry Rhubarb Bars feature a rich buttery shortbread crust with a luscious strawberry rhubarb topping
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword rhubarb, rhubarb bars, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb bars
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

Strawberry-Rhubarb Juice:

  • oz red rhubarb stalks (weighed after leaves and root ends removed), cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • oz strawberries, hulled and mashed with potato masher
  • tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Shortbread Base:

  • ½ cup butter, cubed into 1” pieces, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla
  • cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free 1-to-1/cup-for-cup baking flour, if needed)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt

Topping:

  • 2 large whole eggs, room temperature and lightly fork beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature and lightly fork beaten
  • ½ cup strawberry-rhubarb juice (recipe above)
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • Pink food coloring (optional)
  • Icing Sugar for dusting Bars

Instructions

Strawberry-Rhubarb Juice:

  1. Combine rhubarb, mashed strawberries, and lemon juice into a pot. Cover and bring mixture just to the boiling point over medium heat then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until rhubarb and strawberry mixture is soft and mushy. Add the lemon zest for the last five minutes of cooking. Using a potato masher, mash the mixture to further break down the rhubarb and strawberries as much as possible.
  2. Strain rhubarb/strawberry mixture through a fine wire mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl to extract the juice. Use the back of a large spoon to gently press the pulp to extract more juice. Discard the rhubarb/strawberry pulp. Straining the juice a second time through a clean fine wire mesh sieve to refine it further and remove any traces of the fruit pulp impurities is recommended. Discard any remaining pulp and solids. This should equal ½ cup of strained strawberry-rhubarb juice needed for the recipe. If it strains out more than ½ cup of juice, only use the ½ cup called for in the recipe. If it strains out slightly less than ½ cup of juice, up to ½ tablespoon of strained freshly squeezed lemon juice may be added. (See Note below)

Shortbread Base:

  1. Line 8”x8” baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough paper overhang on sides to grip and lift baked bar from pan for cutting. Spray parchment paper lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Set aside.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter at medium-high speed. Reduce speed to medium low and blend in sugars. Add vanilla. Beat for approximately 45 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula if necessary to ensure all ingredients are fully blended. With mixer set to lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Once all the flour has been added, increase speed slightly to medium-low and blend mixture just until ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Prick base all over with tines of fork to allow steam to release as the base bakes and to eliminate air pockets from forming.
  6. Bake base approximately 20 minutes, or just until edges of crust start to turn very pale golden in color and start to show signs of slightly pulling away from pan sides. Do not overbake or crust will be hard. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes before adding topping. Keep oven on at 325°F.

Topping:

  1. Combine and whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. While the base is cooling slightly, begin to prepare the strawberry-rhubarb topping by whisking the whole eggs and egg yolk together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the strained ½ cup of strawberry-rhubarb juice along with the sugar-cornstarch mixture until mixture is smooth. To achieve a bright rosy color, add a small amount of pink food coloring, if desired, and mix well into topping ingredients so color is evenly distributed.
  3. Pour mixture over slightly cooled, but still warm, crust. Bake at 325°F for 30-35 minutes or until topping is no longer jiggly in the center and is barely set. Cool bar at room temperature for a couple of hours in pan on wire cooling rack then transfer bar to refrigerator for about 4 hours to fully set before cutting.

To Cut Bars:

  1. Using the excess parchment paper as handles, lift bar from pan and transfer to cutting board. Peel away and discard parchment paper. With a sharp knife, cut off rough edges on all sides of bars, rinsing knife in warm water between each cut. The bar may be cut into squares or rectangles of desired size. Or, to cut into triangles, cut the bar into four equal squares and then cut each smaller square into four triangles.
  2. Dust tops of squares, rectangles, or triangles with sifted icing sugar just at the time of serving.
  3. Store bars, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to three days.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 1 – 8” pan

NOTE: The exact amount of rhubarb/strawberry juice extracted from the rhubarb and strawberries is hard to predict with 100% accuracy because so much depends on the quality and age of the rhubarb and strawberries and their water content as well as their growing conditions. If the strained amount is slightly less than the ½ cup required for the topping in this recipe, up to ½ tbsp of fresh, strained lemon juice can be added to bring the quantity of juice to the required ½ cup. If the amount of strained juice results in more than ½ cup, only use the ½ cup called for in the recipe as it has been tested to achieve the optimal texture of the topping. Adding more juice than required without proportionately adjusting the amount of thickener called for in the recipe will yield a topping that is too runny to cut and plate well. If you are not sure on the quality of the rhubarb and berries and how much strained juice they are likely to yield, you may wish to cook an additional ½ - 1 oz each of rhubarb and strawberries when initially making the juice to be sure you have enough to equal ½ cup strained juice.

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Pretty Pink Fruit Bars for Teatime
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Celebratory Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea

Table with 3-tier server set for teatime
Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea

Today, we enjoyed a Celebratory Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea.  It’s not many people who can say they worked in the same job for 70 years and probably even fewer can boast of still being on the job every day with plans to continue! As I write this post, it is June 2, 2022, the actual 70th anniversary of the formal coronation of  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (now aged 96) which took place on June 2, 1953.

There are many celebrations scheduled to mark this historic event,  including Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea events in the United Kingdom – London in particular, and indeed throughout parts of the Commonwealth.  While I would like to have been in London for this weekend and would have enjoyed one or more festive Platinum Jubilee afternoon teas at some of my favorite places as well as new ones to be discovered, the next best thing was to host a Celebratory Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at home!

I thought blog followers might be interested in having a look at my version of a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea. So, make yourself a cuppa and I’ll tell you what was on my menu.

First, I must say I do not have recipes published for every food item seen on the tea table but, for those for which I do have published recipes, I will put the hotlinks into the text for easy access to the recipes available on my website.

A bountiful three-tier serve filled with teatime sandwiches, scones, and pastries
Three-tier Server Ready for a Regal Afternoon Tea

As many of you who are regular followers of my food blog know, I simply adore afternoon teas! Today, my Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea was actually a Royal Afternoon Tea  to celebrate Her Majesty’s long career so it was more formal than my usual afternoon tea events. There are two elements that made this a more formal event. For starters, I used my good china, all matching pieces. Often times, I will use mismatched, but still curated and coordinated, cups, saucers, and other china pieces for afternoon tea events but, when it is a formal event, everything should match, including glassware and cutlery.

The second element that elevated this event from a standard afternoon tea to what would be classified as a Royal Tea was the inclusion of a sparkly drink. Champagne is the usual choice though Prosecco may also be served. Sometimes, this version of an afternoon tea is simply called a Champagne Tea.

With a Royal Afternoon Tea, all the elements of a typical Afternoon Tea (i.e., sandwiches, scones, and desserts) are still included. For my Royal Afternoon Tea today, I served Italian Mionetto Prosecco with a splash of my Rhubarb Strawberry Cordial. How colorful and summery was this pretty drink to start off our afternoon tea and raise a glass to Her Majesty!

Glasses of Prosecco and Rhubarb Strawberry Cordial
Prosecco and Rhubarb Strawberry Cordial

The Table

My china pattern is Royal Albert’s Lavender Rose. I love it as much today as when my mother started me on my first four-place settings many years ago so it was actually quite a joy to use pieces of the collection for a special commemorative afternoon tea. Because pink is the primary color of the china pattern, pink also became a significant color theme to my afternoon tea.

The table was set with an antique linen tablecloth and the napkin fold I chose was the simple “wave” fold. Often, with formal tablesettings, I will opt for a classic, understated napkin fold and simple white linens so as not to detract from the food and china used.

Teatable Placesetting
Formal Afternoon Tea Placesetting

The Menu

My menu for this three-course afternoon tea was inspired by: 1) Fare typical of a British afternoon tea;  2) Seasonal ingredients local to my region; 3) Flavor compatibility; and 4) Color coordination.

Food items were served on a classic three-tier server and the food was consumed in the traditional sequential order. That is to say, sandwiches were eaten first, followed by the scones course, and ending with  dessert and sweets. So, with the standard order of food consumption at an afternoon tea, guests work their way from the bottom plate to the top. Afternoon tea events are intended to be leisurely and unhurried, often taking 2-3 hours, giving guests time to fully enjoy the fare and linger over conversation.

Three-tier Server Filled with Afternoon Tea Foods
Three-tier Server Displaying Afternoon Tea Fare
Sandwich Course

We started off with a selection of four kinds of delicate sandwiches. I usually figure on three to five different kinds of sandwiches. It goes without saying that, for any kind of afternoon tea event, the sandwiches must be completely crustless and sized into shapes about two to three bites each.

A proper afternoon tea is a refined event and sandwiches are intended to be dainty, elegant, and very neat and tidy. To achieve this objective, the removal of the dark, bulky bread crusts is a must. The filling should not look messy or sloppy and there should be no evidence of the filling oozing out of the sandwich. For this reason, use care when adding mayonnaise to a sandwich filling as the filling can quickly become soupy and runny and leave a messy sandwich for a guest to deal with. It is best to leave the crusts on the bread while making the sandwiches then slice them off after assembling the sandwiches. That way, the sandwiches will have perfectly straight edges and a lovely clean, neat appearance.

I find teatime sandwiches do best on bread that is somewhat dense and can hold its shape well when picked up and not squish flat or have the filling ooze out when picked up in the fingers.

Sandwiches for an afternoon tea event can be made a few hours ahead, covered with a lightweight damp tea towel to keep them moist, and refrigerated until serving time.

I like to include open-faced sandwiches in the sandwich course in addition to the typical finger sandwiches. Including a variety of sandwich types and shapes lends variety and interest to a sandwich plate.

Today, I served four kinds of sandwiches. The first is the traditional egg salad sandwich on my homemade white bread. You can find the egg salad filling recipe here. These sandwiches are in the typical finger style and are dressed with fresh chives and a sprig of thyme.

Selection of Afternoon Tea Sandwiches on plate
Selection of Delicate Teatime Sandwiches

The second finger sandwich is my version of the famous teatime sandwich known as the Coronation Chicken Sandwich and is presented on homemade whole wheat bread. Did you know that the Coronation Chicken Sandwich (originally called “Coronation Elizabeth”) was created by two women at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School especially for the Queen’s 1953 Coronation? Seventy years later and the Coronation Chicken Sandwich still regularly appears on teatime menus.

Array of tiny teatime sandwiches on tea table
Selection of Teatime Sandwiches

No afternoon tea would be complete without the quintessential cucumber sandwich which, today, is in open-faced style on white bread. The spread on this sandwich is cream cheese mixed with some fresh dill.

Open-faced tea sandwiches
Open-faced Cucumber and Ham Teatime Sandwiches

Finally, the open-faced Ham and Guyère sandwich is presented on whole wheat bread atop a spread of mayonnaise, fig jam, and honey mustard. A sprig of thyme garnishes the sandwich.

Scones Course
Teatime Scones
Orange and Currant Scones

Scones and afternoon tea are synonymous! Today, I had two kinds of scones on the tea table – Currant and Orange Scones and Plain Scones, all still warm from the oven. Depending on their size, I usually figure one to two scones per person. You can find my scone recipe here and my tutorial for How To Make Scones here. Can you see the layers of buttery flakiness in these puffy, toothsome scones!  A knife should never be needed to break apart a scone. Rather, like these scones, they should be light and flaky enough that they break apart easily with the hands.

Scones for Teatime
Teatime Scones

In addition to the Devonshire Double Cream, I offered two scone toppings – my Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam and my homemade Lemon Curd. I like to place the small bowls of scone toppings on a plate or tray for ease of passing between teatime guests. I consider that these should be passed together as a group (just as would be done with a set of salt and pepper shakers), rather than individually and risking spillage or having them become orphaned.

Tray of Toppings for Scones
Scone Toppings
Dessert Course

The top tier of an afternoon tea server is reserved for the sweets and pastries.

Afternoon Tea Dessert Plate
Sweets and Fancies for Afternoon Tea

However, that top plate is very small and I had more items than would fit on the small dessert plate so I used my large cake plate to hold and display two signature desserts in addition to some other dainty and delicate sweets.

Fancy Desserts for Teatime
Signature Desserts for Teatime

I couldn’t have a Royal Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea without including the classic Victoria Sponge Cake (aka Victoria Sandwich), a long-time traditional teatime cake. You can find my recipe for the Victoria Sponge Cake here. For today’s tea table, I made small, individual versions of the cake filled with jam and chantilly cream.

Mini Victoria Sandwich
Miniature Victoria Sponge Cake

When everything on a tea table is small and dainty, I think it justifies increasing the number of desserts (or, at least, that’s the story I am sticking to!)

Plate of Teatime Desserts
Teatime Desserts

My second signature dessert was Panna Cotta with a strawberry rhubarb gélee. My recipe for basic Panna Cotta is accessible here. This dessert was presented in very small dainty glass pedestal dessert dishes which allowed the layers of the Panna Cotta to be visible.

Dessert in a Glass
Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelée

French Macarons are always a lovely addition to a tea table and, today, mine were regally decorated in 24-kt edible gold for the occasion.

Macaron
French Macaron Decorated in Edible Gold

Tiny Cherry Madeleines in their iconic shell shape were dipped in pink chocolate and decorated in pearl dragées as a nod to the Queen’s signature pearl necklace we often see her wearing.

Madeleine
Dainty shell-shaped Madeleine

Fruitcake is a British tradition and I would be remiss not to include it in my afternoon tea fare. My light fruitcake was on today’s tea table. You can find my recipe for light fruitcake here and for my gluten-free light fruitcake here.

Fruitcake
Light Fruitcake

I have also included my Strawberry Rhubarb Bars on today’s dessert plate. These showy and scrumptious Bars feature a rich buttery shortbread crust with a luscious strawberry rhubarb topping. You can find my recipe for these Bars by clicking here.

Afternoon Tea Dessert Plate
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

The lovely chocolates seen on my dessert plate today were artisan chocolates made by Jane and Sue Chocolates in Stanley Bridge, PEI. Their attention to detail and confectionery work are exquisite and their shop is well worth a visit. I just knew they would have decadent chocolates that would coordinate with my color scheme and they did not disappoint! Aren’t these confections just stunning!

Elegant Chocolates
Artisan Chocolates from Jane & Sue Chocolates, Stanley Bridge, PEI

 

Handmade Chocolates
Artisan Chocolates Created by Jane & Sue Chocolates, PEI

Tea Pairings

Royal Albert Teapot
Royal Albert’s “Lavender Rose” Teapot

Today, I prepared three separate pairings of tea, a different one for each course of the afternoon tea. The teapot in the photo above is the one from my Royal Albert china. The teacups from my china set are in the  Montrose shape. This shape is very characteristic of fine bone china cups and saucers, particularly from Royal Albert which first introduced the shape in 1962 with their now-famous Old Country Roses pattern.

Royal Albert Teacup
Teacup in Royal Albert’s “Lavender Rose” pattern

We are black tea drinkers and don’t personally like flavored teas so we started off with Happy Elephant’s Himalayan Darjeeling, an aromatic light-bodied tea, for the sandwich course. Tea pairing for the scones course was Twinings’ Earl Grey Tea. With its citrus notes, it was an excellent pairing, particularly with the scones that contain a hint of orange flavor. And, for the dessert course, the selection was Happy Elephant’s  English Afternoon Tea.

Cream and Sugar Set from Royal Albert
Royal Albert’s “Lavender Rose” Cream and Sugar Set

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my Celebratory Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea.

Teatable Set for Royal Afternoon Tea
Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea
Be sure to check out my previous Afternoon Tea events by going to the Afternoon Tea section from the menu bar on my home page.

Connect with My Island Bistro Kitchen by:

Joining the Facebook page for My Island Bistro Kitchen: https://www.facebook.com/MyIslandBistroKitchen/

Following “the Bistro” on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PEIBistro/

Seeing the drool-worthy gallery of mouth-watering food photos from My Island Bistro Kitchen on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peibistro/

Following “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/

(and you can pin the Pinterest-ready photo at the end of this posting to your favorite Pinterest boards)

PIN ME TO PINTEREST!

Three-tier Server Filled with Afternoon Tea Fare
Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea

 

Bistro Style Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Bowl full of Spaghetti and Meatballs garnished with fresh basil
Bistro Style Spaghetti and Meatballs

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs make a super tasty meal. Spaghetti sauce is not difficult to make and this sauce freezes very well so it is great to have on hand when needed. Likewise, meatballs are not difficult to make either and they also freeze well. So, this is a great make-ahead meal to have on hand when the tastebuds crave a Spaghetti and Meatballs meal. It’s simply a matter of thawing and reheating the sauce and meatballs and cooking up a pot of spaghetti. Continue reading Bistro Style Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Billowy Soft Hot Cross Buns

Pan of Easter Rolls
Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are made with a yeasted enriched dough that is fragrant with warm spices. Usually, dried fruit is added. These buns are an Easter tradition in many homes. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, and marking the end of Lent, Hot Cross Buns, with their signature cross on the top, carry the symbolism of the crucifixion of Jesus. Continue reading Billowy Soft Hot Cross Buns

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

Cheese-topped French Onion Soup
Classic French Onion Soup

While many cast French Onion Soup as fine dining restaurant fare, it really is easy enough to make this soup at home. Read on for my recipe, hints, and tips for making this Classic French Onion Soup in your own kitchen. Yes, you really can make fine restaurant-quality food at home and your kitchen will have the intoxicating aroma of a French bistro! Continue reading Classic French Onion Soup Recipe

St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea Fare
Three-tier Server Brimming with Afternoon Tea Fare

I love an elegant afternoon tea on any given day of the year but there are certain holidays and special days that really open up many options for creative and inspiring tea events. For me, St. Patrick’s Day is one of them as the colors of the Ireland flag are great inspiration for the color theme of the tea table as well as for the food itself. What follows is my Irish-themed St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea. Continue reading St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea

Mini Blueberry Bundt Cakes

Mini Blueberry Cakes
Mini Blueberry Bundt Cake

Mini Bundt cakes have become quite popular and trendy and they are ideal individual desserts that present so attractively on a plate. Today, I used my pan of fluted mini Bundt pan molds (each having a 1-cup capacity) to make individual Mini Blueberry Bundt Cakes with a lemon glaze. Continue reading Mini Blueberry Bundt Cakes

St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea for One

Tea Table
Teatime

It’s no secret that I love anything to do with afternoon tea. Living where I do, here in PEI, we do not have places that offer afternoon tea year-round but that really does not make a huge difference to me as I like to prepare and enjoy afternoon tea at home, whether that’s for one or more people.

Today, it’s a prelude to St. Patrick’s Day afternoon tea for one and the color theme is distinctly green with a hint of orange as, at the time of writing, we are mere days away from St. Patrick’s Day. Continue reading St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea for One

Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

Homemade Beans
Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

Homemade Baked Beans make a hearty stick-to-the-ribs meal. Add some homemade bread or biscuits along with molasses and a simple yet tasty meal awaits. I originally published my traditional Baked Beans in Maple Syrup recipe in 2012 and that recipe can be accessed by clicking here. My newest recipe, Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce, differs from my original recipe in that the yellow eye beans are slowly baked in a sweet and savory tomato-based sauce giving them a lovely rich flavor and reddish-brown color. Continue reading Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

Black Bean Mocha Brownies (Gluten free)

Brownies
Brown Bean Mocha Brownies

Who would ever think that the lowly black beans, known for their fibre and protein content, could be transformed into moist, fudgy, decadent, and super tasty brownies! But, it’s true and these Black Bean Mocha Brownies (now my new favorite) do not have the slightest taste of beans! Serve the brownies to folks and don’t tell them there are black beans in them and I seriously doubt they’d ever guess as much. With maple syrup, cocoa powder, coffee, and vanilla as flavor enhancers along with almond flour, you’d be hard pressed to find a hint of bean flavor in these brownies. Continue reading Black Bean Mocha Brownies (Gluten free)

Old-fashioned Raisin Pie Recipe

Homemade Pie
Raisin Pie

For some reason, I always think of Raisin Pie as a late autumn or winter time pie. I suppose, perhaps, it might have something to do with spring, summer, and fall being the time when we think of fruit pies like rhubarb, strawberry, peach, and apple, for example, when such fruits are in season. In winter, those fruits are likely to be imported and more expensive so one tends to look for other types of fillings for pies. Continue reading Old-fashioned Raisin Pie Recipe

How to Make Pie Pastry (plus Recipe)

Classic Peach Pie
Classic Peach Pie

I am often asked for my recipe for pie pastry so that is the focus of this posting. There are many different kinds of pastry but, today, I am focusing on a basic all-purpose pastry suitable for both sweet and savory pies. But, first, let’s start with some hints and tips on making the pastry. There are many sources of information on pastry making and what follows is the method I have used for years with success to make my pastry. Hope it is of use. Continue reading How to Make Pie Pastry (plus Recipe)

My Island Bistro Kitchen Celebrates 10th Blogiversary!

Celebration Cake
10th Blogiversary Celebration Cake

Today marks a milestone for me as it was 10 years ago on this date that I created My Island Bistro Kitchen’s website.

Over the past 10 years, I have developed and published countless recipes, conducted interviews and written numerous stories about PEI food and beverage producers, attended and written about many Island food events, contributed to media articles, participated as a panelist on radio call-in shows, wrote reviews of select cookbooks, provided several recipe tutorials, created a series of weekly meal plans, set many tables with all kinds of pretty tablesettings, shared my gardening adventures, taken followers around the scenic Island on my many summer picnics and, yes, you’ve been invited to several teatimes, too! Whew! What a whirlwind it has been!

Decorated Cake
Sugared Cranberry and Rosemary Cake Decorations

The food blog and website were created when I was looking for a focus that would allow me to pursue three of my passions – culinary, photography, and writing. Blogging had just really come into its own around the time that I created the website and so off I went on the recipe development, food photography, and food writing journey.

I aim to keep the recipes I develop and share real and do-able for the home cook and not too far “off the beaten track”. I am aware of the different levels of culinary skills and food budgets that followers may have. As such, I try to provide thorough instructions with my recipes and, with some exceptions but to the extent possible, to use equipment that is most likely to be common in the vast majority of kitchens so followers who choose to make the recipes can do so in their own kitchens. Where possible, I continue to try to feature and use locally produced food ingredients from here in Prince Edward Island.

So, on this, my 10th Blogiversary, I am grateful for those faithful followers of My Island Bistro Kitchen who have been with me from the start. I am also thankful for, and welcome, those who have joined (and continue to join) along the way. If you are new to “the Bistro”, a hearty warm welcome to you! I hope all will continue to follow “the Bistro” and invite their family and friends to follow along, too, as I have plans for more great recipes in the works.

Anniversary Cake
Blogiversary Celebration Cake

Every anniversary merits some kind of celebratory cake so, it’s a simple white cake filled with cranberry curd today and decorated with sugared cranberries and rosemary just picked from my garden.

Anniversary Cake
10th Blogiversary Celebration Cake

I have opted to pair some of my fuchsia, or cranberry-colored, teacups with this cake for today’s celebratory teatime. Tea was poured from the stunning bell-shaped carousel or marquee Sadler teapot in shades of ivory, gold, and burgundy. Isn’t it a stunner!

Sadler Teapot and Paragon Teacup
Sadler Bell-shaped Carousel or Marquee Teapot and a Paragon Teacup

 

Barbara

Connect with My Island Bistro Kitchen on Social Media

Join the Facebook page for My Island Bistro Kitchen:  https://www.facebook.com/MyIslandBistroKitchen/

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Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.ca/peibistro/ and pin the Pinterest-ready photo at the end of this posting to your favorite Pinterest boards!

To view previous Blogiversary celebrations of My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

1st Blogiversary
2nd Blogiversary
3rd Blogiversary
4th Blogiversary
5th Blogiversary
6th Blogiversary
7th Blogiversary
8th Blogiversary
9th Blogiversary

Sausage, Black Beans, and Pasta Casserole

 

Hearty Casserole
Sausage, Black Beans, and Pasta Casserole

The primary inspiration for this Sausage, Black Beans, and Pasta Casserole came from an abundance of tomato sauce in my freezer. I had surplus tomatoes in the garden last year and, since I detest food waste of any kind, I made and froze a lot of tomato sauce (recipe here) that needed to be transformed into meals. Continue reading Sausage, Black Beans, and Pasta Casserole

Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea

Christmas Afternoon Tea
Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea

Welcome to my Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea! If you are a regular follower of my food blog, you know I adore afternoon tea events. The Christmas season provides an excellent opportunity for a special holiday afternoon tea complete with seasonal china pieces and, naturally, all kinds of Christmas goodies.

This afternoon tea was inspired by my Royal Albert “December” teacups in the “Christmas Rose” pattern. These cups are from Royal Albert’s “Flower of the Month” series and the December pattern is aptly named “Christmas Rose”. Because the cups feature roses and holly, I have named this afternoon tea the Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea. Continue reading Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea

Winter White Holiday Tablesetting

Christmas Tablesetting
Winter White Holiday Tablesetting

For my holiday dinner table this year, I set myself a two-fold challenge:

1) Design a tablescape using only materials I already owned (√) and
2) Use a color scheme I had not previously used for a Christmas tablescape (√)

I call this silver and white tablescape the Winter White Holiday Tablesetting. Continue reading Winter White Holiday Tablesetting

(Mostly) PEI and Maritime Food – Good Food for a Good Life!