Eclectic Tea

Tea in the afternoon is such a civilized meal. Today I went to see the Jane Austin biopic, "Becoming Jane." For any true Jane Austin fan it's a must see. Afterwards I had a few friends over for what I call an eclectic tea. This is because it was not truly English, as is Ms. Austin, although I did serve the usual cucumber and butter tea sandwiches and added scones with raspberry jam and butter. What made it eclectic? Well I threw in a little Italian and French items. Since I love sweets we'll start there. I made a chocolate hazelnut tart. This recipe is from Giada's show Everyday Italian. The bittersweet chocolate and hazelnuts are such a rich combination you can only eat a small amount, but this was delicious, crunchy and satisfying. I did make a basic Pate Sable from Clotilde Dusoulier Chocolate & Zuchini book instead of the store bought pie crust. I thought it might go well with the filling. It was a perfect match.

I also made a favorite dish from a book. Baking with Julia Child, it's called Pizza Rustica. It seems daunting the first time you look at the recipe. But to make it is actually quite easy. First make a basic pie crust:
2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 stick(4 oz) butter, 2 large eggs. Can be done in a food processor and then knead, take 2/3 of the dough, roll out and layer it in a glass pie dish.
Then mix 1lb ricotta cheese, 3 eggs, 1/4 lb mozarella, 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, 1/4 lb proscuitto, 2 tbsp parsley, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Fill your pie and roll out the extra dough and cut strips with ruffled-edged pastry wheel if you have it handy, and make a basic lattice over the filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. It's truly a sweet and savory dish as the crust is slightly sweet and the cheese and proscuitto is salty.
Along with the tart I follow this with ecletic afternoon tea with fresh strawberries and whip cream.
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