When I created tea sandwich recipes for the Texas Living Magazine April issue, we were focusing on menu inspiration for shower season. Spring is typically the time we host people to celebrate upcoming brides and babies.
Although hosting events in our home has been pushed off a bit longer, these recipes are sensational for making and eating right now. Perhaps even for Mother’s Day brunch.
Making your own Jalapeño Pimento Cheese is easy and so much better than anything you pick up at the market. For the best results, grate the cheese from a block rather than starting with shredded cheese in packages.
You don’t have to cut your Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Sandwiches into finger lengths or garnish them either. Personally, I like to toast my bread, swipe on a generous portion of pimento cheese and lunch is ready!
Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
2 cups shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese
4-ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup diced pimento
1 tablespoon fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
Dash Cayenne pepper
12 slices wheat bread
Additional 1-2 jalapeños
½ cup cherry tomatoes
Prepare the pimento cheese by combining the first 8 ingredients in a bowl; mix very well. Keep pimento cheese refrigerated until ready to serve. Prepare the finger sandwiches by coating 1 side of 6 slices of bread with a generous amount of pimento cheese. Top each slice with a second slice of bread to create sandwiches. Carefully cut the crust from the sandwiches and slice each one into 3 strips. To garnish each finger sandwich, slice 1-2 jalapeños into very thin slices, removing the seeds if desired. Place a jalapeño slice in the center of each sandwich, top with a cherry tomato, and hold it in place by pressing a toothpick through each sandwich. Serve at once.
Tender Orange Scones are a real treat anytime. My recipe uses a food processor so it’s truly a breeze to get them ready for the oven. Scones are best the same day they’re baked so freeze any uneaten portion, or freeze one of the scone rounds for baking another day.
3 cups flour
⅓ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 orange, zested
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup coarse sugar for dusting scones
½ cup clotted cream
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a food processor, mix flour, ⅓ cup sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and zest until well combined. Add cold butter pulsing slowly until mixture looks like small peas. Add buttermilk and pulse 4-6 times until dough begins to form a ball. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gather it into a ball. Knead the dough gently—not more than a dozen times. Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into a ½-inch thick circle. Brush the circles with butter then dust with coarse sugar. Slice the circles like a pizza, into 8 triangles. Place the triangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly brown around edges. Allow to cool and serve with clotted cream and jam.
My Quick Berry Jam is so good, it’s almost impossible to stay out of. This recipe is fantastic on Orange Scones but also makes a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich or for something really sensational, try it on a ham and Gruyere panini!
Quick Berry Jam
2 cups strawberries, hulled
1 cup blueberries
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Place the berries in the blender and pulse until pureed; work in batches if needed. Mix lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until very smooth. Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until mixture is bubbling and thick. Remove from heat and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.