Afternoon Tea

Recipes by Lyn Hagin Meade

Cucumber sandwiches

The simplest, and still the best, the combination of cucumber and butter with white bread isn’t easily beaten. The quality of your sandwich will depend on the quality of your ingredients, so choose well.

8 slices of bread, crusts removed

½ cucumber, peeled ( I use a potato peeler and do alternate stripes of peeled/unpeeled.

50 g butter



Butter the bread well. Lay 4 slices on a flat surface.

Cut the cucumber into thin slices.

Cover with the thinly sliced cucumber and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the top slice on and evenly press down gently.

Cut the sandwiches into squares. Serve within one hour of making.

An idea would be to make half white half brown bread sandwiches and alternate them in a chess board style arrangement.


Red pepper and sundried tomato pesto pinwheels

8 slices of good quality wholemeal bread, crusts removed

1 red pepper, roasted and skin removed ( cut and remove the stalks and seeds, slice in half and bake in the oven with your dinner the previous night. When cool, remove skin and slice)

1 tablespooon tomatao pesto ( I use the Happy Pear one, but you can make your own. Recipe here)

50g chevre spreadable goats cheese

15g parmesan cheese, finely grated


Slice the pepper into slivers. Stir together the parmesan, goats cheese, red pepper and pesto. Taste and season if necessary.

As you make the sandwiches, roll each slice of bread flat and thin, using a rolling pin.

Pile the topping onto each slice and spread thinly.

Smooth the filling, making sure to leave an edge for the filling to lealk.

Roll up the sandwich and cut each slice into thick pinwheels.

Arrange on the serving plate, cut side up.

Cheese salad sandwiches

My kids can’t get enough of these and I must agree they are seriously moreish. Always make more than you think you will need!

12 slices of good quality sliced white bread, crusts removed (make breadcrumbs with the crusts and freeze for stuffing).

50g butter

½ cucumber

4 tomatoes

3 spring onions

100g cheddar grated

2 tablespoons mayonnaise ( I used Hellmans)


Butter the bread on one side and set to one side, with 6 slices of bread laid out, butter side up.

Finely dice the tomatoes, spring onions, cucumber.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, spring onions, grated cheese and cucumber with the mayonnaise and season well.

Divide the mixture across the 6 slices of bread, top with the other 6 slices and press down evenly and lightly but firmly.

With a large bread knife, cut the sandwiches into 4 triangles each.


Cinnamon Palmiers

These have to be the easiest things to make ever. I let the kids make these while I’m busy with something else. It doesn’t matter if they end up as pinwheels, they will still taste delicious.

1 sheet of chilled puff pastry (approx 375g)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Roll out pastry.

Sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly across the pastry.

Starting at one long side, tightly roll the pastry to the middle.

Turn the pastry around and roll the other side to the middle.

Slice the palmiers into pieces 1 – 2 cm thick and place cut side down on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray (you may be able to use the paper that the pastry was rolled in.

Bake for 18 minutes at 200C, until the sugar is bubbling and the pastry browned.


Sponge sandwich with fresh strawberries and cream (8-10 slices)

This is a simple but decadent cake. No matter who the company, it always brings ooohs and ahhhs – cream and strawberries, who could resist!

4 eggs

100g caster sugar (I use brown sugar, ground in the coffee grinder)

100g plain flour

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon baking powder

250ml whipping cream

250g strawberries, topped and sliced

1 tablespoon icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 200C. Oil a 20 – 23 cm round cake tin.

In a mixer, with the balloon attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes, until very thick and pale. The mixture should hold its shape when the whisk is removed. Add the vanilla

Gently fold in the flour and baking powder until just combined.

Pour into the tin and bake for 22 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back to a light touch and the edges are starting to come away from the sides of the tin. (if the cake isn’t as described, put it back in the oven fro another 3-5 minutes.

As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, tip it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

When the cake is cool, whip the cream until thick and it holds its peaks.

Slice the strawberries.

Slice the cake in two along through the centre.

Place one half on the serviing plate. Top with the strawberries in a layer. Cover generously with the cream – do not spread to the edges, as gravity will do this for you when you add the top cake.

Place second half on top.

Dust with icing sugar sieved over the top just before serving.


Tea Time Scones (makes 8 medium)

Scones, simple yet wonderful canvases for experimenting with cream, jam or lemon curd. My favourite topping is homemade damson jam with clotted cream.

200g self raising flour

75g butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

125ml milk

50g raisins (optional)


Rub the butter into the flour. Add the sugar and stir. Add the raisins, if using.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk.

Using a fork to mix, pour in half the milk mixture, combine and continue to add small drops of milk mixture until the dough is a rolling texture – a smooth dough that is not sticky.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into ball shapes.

Flatten the scones with the heel of your hand and space the scones evenly across the baking tray.

If you have any milk mixture left over, use it to brush the scones before putting in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes at 200C, until firm.

Remove after a minute, from the baking tray and cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm, split open with butter.


Date Tea Brack

This is my adaptation of a recipe given by a family friend 30 years ago…thanks Ann!

350g self raising flour

250ml strong black tea

25 g brown sugar

250g raisins or sultanas

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 egg

200g dried dates


Make the tea and leave to stew for approx 5 mins. Chop the dates and add to the tea, along with the other dried fruit, sugar and spice.

Stir. Set aside to cool – even better to leave overnight.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the tea mixture and the egg and mix well.

Grease a loaf tin and add the mixture. Bake for 1 hour at 170C.

Leave to cool in the loaf tin, then wrap in a clean tea towel and store in an airtight tin.

This cake gets better with time, so make it a day or two in advance, if you can.

Serve plain, or with butter.

Any leftover cake should be sliced, placed in a freezer bag and can be frozen for one month.


Copyright © 2018 Lyn Hagin Meade, All Rights Reserved.