The Perfect Summertime Quench: Iced Tea

Balmy breezy days of summer are here.
June also celebrates National Iced Tea Month.
Cheers to the classic summertime beverage.
Flavor infusions are trending.
Experiment with sorbets and granitas.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
great finds for great menus.
*including a nifty no-bake Sweet Tea Ice Box Tort.
Since June is also National Fruit Month…
more reasons to craft some fruity blends.
Blackberry Iced Tea
3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Pinch of baking soda
4 cups boiling water
2 family-size tea bags
2 1/2 cups cold water
Trims: fresh blackberries, fresh mint sprigs
Combine blackberries and sugar in large container. Crush blackberries with wooden spoon. Add mint and baking soda. Set aside. Pour 4 cups boiling water over tea bags; cover and let stand 3 minutes. Discard tea bags.  Pour tea over blackberry mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Pour tea through a wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding solids.  Add 2 1/2 cups cold water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.
NOTE:  For the garnish, cut desired amount of wooden skewers into 5-inch lengths; then place fresh blackberries on skewers.
Black Cherry Iced Tea
1 pound fresh black cherries, pitted–
or two 10-ounce bags frozen pitted black cherries, thawed
2 1/2 quarts water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 whole star anise
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
16 green-tea bags
Mint sprigs, for serving
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the black cherries, sugar, lemon juice, star anise and the vanilla bean with its seeds. Simmer the cherries over low heat for 15 minutes, crushing them against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove the cherries from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Strain the cherry juice through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids. Discard the solids. Bring the cherry juice to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the cherry tea to a large pitcher and refrigerate until chilled or for up to 2 days. Serve the tea over ice, garnished with mint sprigs.
Sweet Tea Ice Box Tart
2 tablespoons unsweetened instant iced tea mix
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Trim: lemon slices, fresh mint sprigs
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Stir together iced tea mix and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk and next 5 ingredients until blended.
Place Gingersnap Crust on a baking sheet; pour in milk mixture.
Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or just until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish. Beat cream and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Pipe or dollop on top of tart.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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