While famous British chefs (Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay) have helped boost the reputation of English cuisine, I am pretty sure many food critics still compare some English fare with the quality of Branson’s soup that he attempted to dump on the General’s head in Season 2. Apparently, that reputation goes back hundreds of years. From the original domestic goddess, Mrs. Beeton’s delightful book, Mrs. Beetons Book of Household Management, published in 1861:
IT HAS BEEN ASSERTED, that English cookery is, nationally speaking, far from being the best in the world. More than this, we have been frequently told by brilliant foreign writers, half philosophers, half chefs, that we are the worst cooks on the face of the earth.
Today’s treat is Almond and Rose Petal Squares from Fortnum & Mason.
My Online Guides to the Tea Ritual
Taking a traditional “afternoon tea” is definitely a bucket list experience. To do it properly, I have created a handy guide to help you enjoy the experience. My Downton Abbey Cooks Online Guide to Afternoon Tea.
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Almond & Rose Petal Squares
Tea at Fortnum & Mason, my little blue book of tea treats is still my favourite. It was sent to me by my virtual friend Ellen who travelled all the way from Boston to the UK to attend a ladies luncheon where Lady Carnvaron was speaking at Tylney Hall, just a stone’s throw away from Highclere Castle where they film Downton. She didn’t visit Highclere Castle on that visit, she subsequently returned to London this summer with her son.
This is a really simple treat to make. You can use this recipe with other preserves, but if you can find rose petal jelly in a specialty store, do try it, it has a lovely taste to it and adds a nice light fragrant taste. I have made adjustments to this recipe for pan sizes. The reason I make a large batch of shortcrust (pie) pastry is for times like this when I can quickly pull together a few treats.
Delightful Almond & Rose Petal Squares
- 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
- 3 medium egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups almond flour
- 2 tbsp. rose petal jam (or your favorite jam or preserve)
- 3/4 cup shortcrust/pie pastry * (see crust recipe) or try puff pastry in a pinch.
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds