Friday, November 21, 2008

Ententea cordiale


After an (almost) neck and neck fight to the finish between strawberry cheesecake (my favourite) and tarte au citron, it is the lemon tart that I will now bake for the next French Fancy English Tea Party for Neighbours.

We do this about every three months or so - I lay the table with my late mum's best china, dig out the tea pot, I bake and bake and bake, make scones and try and whip French cream into something resembling clotted stuff. I make little triangular sandwiches with the crusts off - in general, I make an effort.

I think our neighbours enjoy it - they certainly eat and drink a lot. The record for cups of tea drunk by a Frenchman at our place currently stands at seven cups over a three-hour period. The French think they don't like tea because the French tea available at the supermarket is weak and tasteless. But, since the Brit invasion, almost every supermarket around here has an English section. The mark up is about 75% but at least we can easily buy a thick brew like Typhoo or Tetley. Once the French neighbours have tasted a cup of tea that has brewed for a little while in a proper pot, is then served in a china cup, not a mug, they realise what all us Brits have banged on about for centuries - tea rules.

What did the teapot wear to bed?
A nightea!

Why did the tea get away?
Because it was loose!

Why is tea sometimes dangerous?
Because it mugs you!

I'll get my coat


DJ Kirkby said...

Hah, I understood the jokes! Almost a first for me. Please will you share your recipe for Tarte au Citron?

French Fancy said...

Hello DJ - this is the recipe I use with a couple of changes - I use a 23cm flan tin and on the top I lay crstallised lemon slices (as in the photo)

French Fancy said...

let me try again because it didn't complete: (it really is a tasty and easy recipe)

Dumdad said...

What sex is a giggling teabag?

Tee hee!

(I made that one up myself. Ah, come on, it ain't that bad and it is 8.20 in the morning, French time!)

Henry the Dog said...

Love the jokes, including dumdad's. Mum will drool when she reads your post. Mum tends to drink coffee but Uncle Hugh is addicted to Twinings Assam - mum gets it delivered about three times a year because they don't sell it in any of the shops near us.
PS: I voted for Stawberry Cheescake, mum would have voted for French Fancies

Carol and Chris said...

*Groans* OMG those jokes were absolutely awful!!! (Ok...I admit it....I did laugh)

Any chance of the recipe for your cheesecake? I adore cheesecake but have only ever tried making it once and it didn't turn out very well (wasn't sure if it was me or the recipe!!)

C x

Blu said...

I confess that I voted for the Tarte au Citron...however I would enjoy any of the cakes.Sounds like you have a good time, what a great idea.

Lane said...

Yay for lemon tart and proper tea! I'm moving to your neighbourhood:-)

Off to check your recipe now:-)

jenny smith said...

Fantastic blog, FF. You have inspired me to bake a lemon tart now. And you've made me laugh along the way.

used to eat lovely lemon tart at a French restaurant in Twickenham. Sadly now shut down. But I can still remember its heavenly taste.
What a lovely quality of life you seem to have. No wonder you left London. xxxx

French Fancy said...

Dumdad - I like the tea joke. I hope thinking them up won't obsess you like it did me yesterday afternoon.

Henry - I used to be more of a coffee drinker but over the last six years or so have veered more and more towards tea. The stronger the better.

Caol - I've done a bit of a search and this Mary Berry comes close to what I do (although I use mascarpone, not curd cheese. and I substitute these French biscuits - they might me of Belgian origin actually - for the base. They are called (something like) sapelos. Anyway, this is the basic recipe-

Blu - after two hours both Mr FF and I have had enough -that's our talking and listening in French limit.

Lane - I wish you lived round the corner then you could drop by and save me from myself with the cake. Although I have been experimenting with low-fat alternatives.

Jenny - thank you for that. Actually I came to Britttany via Winchester, where I had lived for 5 years prior to moving out here. If I'd come straight from London I don't think I would have adjusted so well

French Fancy said...

Carol - p.s. Now I've had another look at her recipe - I don't use the lemons and for the topping I get a pack of frozen strawberries and mix them up with a (good French) strawberry jam - 60% big fruit pieces. That way, with the ja, you don't need arrowroot to get the gel topping.

it's ever so easy. There's also a lovely Nigella one I do which is plain vanilla, no fruit topping. I usually veer off from whatever recipe I'm using - I never seem to have all the ingredients so I have to improvise

French Fancy said...

I must start reading my comments through before posting them - I'm such a sloppy typist.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm...usually any fruit tart is a punishment but 'tarte au citron' is delicious-without any cream,thanks. Chocolate anything will always be my favourite as would herbal tea.........brown tea just doesn't do it for me. Sounds like a wonderful idea for being sociable!!

French Fancy said...

pps - Carol (goodness, I'm sloppier than usual today) the biscuits I use for the cheesecake base are called speculoos -

Mama said...

Awwwww. now why did you go and do that?, just when I was feeling good about being back in CA, you go and remind me that I love tea and cake (British PG tips tea and cake) BTW I voted for the "tarte au citron" YAY!!!! crying into my pancakes, I do still have a tatty copy of the Daily Mail and a box of very squashed PG Tips though. enjoy your FETPforN's.
your jokes were really funny hehe. hugs, Kathy.

French Fancy said...

oooh - anonymous - sorry, you slipped from my gaze there:

Now I'm not mad on chocolate in any form except for a fancy choc from a chocolatiere (sp?). I don't like choc cake/puddings/mousse/ and the like - for me it's fruity things. I do adore lemon pudding of any description but for me a good cheesecake is very hard to beat.

I also don't like herbal tea but I think I know who you are and when you do eventually come to tea I know what to now give you :)

Mama - Today if I could choose between tea and cake here or being in the woodland café by Big Sur, well it is the latter option I would pick.

nikkicrumpet said...

Now that sounds like so much fun...and I don't even drink tea! But when I finally wear my hubby down...and he finally gives in and takes me to France...I wanna come to your tea party!!!

blogthatmama said...

Tea and tarts, a winning combo in my humble view.

cheshire wife said...

Your afternoon tea looks very refined. Out of interest, how do your neighbours reciprocate?

French Fancy said...

nikki - I do hope that one day that could be a reality. I really do :)

blogthatmama - tea and tarts works for me - it has ring to it.

cheshire wife - It starts off quasi-refined but after a couple of hours there are so many tea spatters on the tablecloth and bits of cake everywhere it looks more like Fred's cafe.

One of the French households has us over for a meal every few months, the other gives us copious quantities of home-grown fruit and veg and the third. well - it's a bit one-sided but they've had a few problems and we didn't want to leave them out. They've all made us feel very welcome and it's mainly due to them (the three other households in our little cul-de-sac) that our language skills have come on so well.

willow said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy! I would love to come to one of your teas.

My favorite tea joke:

Do you know what happened to the Indian who drank a barrel of tea? They found him dead in his teepee.


French Fancy said...

I'd love to have a bloggers' tea. Wouldn't that be great. I'd love to meet you and so many of your fellow bloggers, Willow,

I love your joke. I like silly jokes.