The ‘Outlander’ series by Diana Gabaldon is not set in the Victorian era. Rather they begin in the 1940s, and time-travel to the 18th century. After which, the books go back to the 40s through to the 60s, while weaving back in time.
Though the Victorian era doesn’t play a part in the books, Scotland and Queen Victoria are so closely bound, that I decided to include it.
Using the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook for High Tea
I always tell people that one of my favorite cookbooks is, quite astonishingly, the Outlander Kitchen, by Theresa Carle-Sanders.
I bought it after watching the first season; I was completely smitten with the romanticized version of Scotland. The tartan, the Highlands, the mystical scenery…the time travel!
Although, truth be told, now that I’ve been to the Scottish Highlands, it’s not that romanticized – it really is that beautiful and I swear there’s magic in the air.
But I say ‘astonishing,’ because it was so unexpected. I thought it would be a ‘novelty’ cookbook when I purchased it, and it’s not at all. Almost every recipe I’ve tried from this book has been a keeper.
The recipes each have a passage from one of the Outlander books, by Diana Gabaldon, that gives you a clue as to why that particular recipe was included.
An Outlander High Tea
The Outlander Kitchen is especially good for a High Tea (remember, High Tea is savory meal, more like a supper) because it has quite a few recipes for smaller bites that could be included on a picnic or as appetizers.
All the recipes from this post are in the Outlander Kitchen cookbook.
A few of these, and many more can be found on the Outlander Kitchen website (link at bottom of post).
For my Outlander High Tea, I made:
Cheese Savories (aka Gougeres)
Rolls with Pigeon and Truffles (in the book replaced with chicken thighs and morels)
Fraser Strawberry Jam
Mrs. Graham’s Chocolate Biscuits
Rosamund’s Pulled Pork with Devil’s BBQ Sauce
All of the recipes I used can be made ahead to the point of baking them, and a few can be done all the way, with a quick warm-up before serving.
Now, I have a confession to make…
With the pulled pork, I actually made it in an Instant Pot.
What this means is that I did’t do it in a smoker or grill. I used the recipe, but put all the liquid in the pot, put the meat in, and cooked it. At the very end, I added a bit of cornstarch to the gravy to thicken it.
It was absolutely delicious, and oh, so tender!
As suggested in the book, I layered it over the Spoon Bread.
Tea and Tipple…
Granted Laphroaig wasn’t around in 1743, but Lapsang Souchong was one of the first teas imported to Europe. And Laphroaig, being Scotch Whisky (without the ‘e’), and being particularly peaty, is a match for Lapsang, which has the same smoky flavor.
Both are an acquired taste.
I made the Jam Tarts with the Fraser Strawberry Jam. Very simple, very good. The tarts themselves were the trickiest recipe for me. I had a bit of hard time getting the dough to sit right in the tins and my jam leaked. In the end I would use the word ‘rusic’ to describe them.
I would make them again, but I think I would just bake the cups and add jam after they were out and cooled. I don’t think it would make a difference taste-wise.
The Cheese Savories are very delicious. You may be wondering why mine appear to be speckled. I don’t know, except that I did “add” a little smoked paprika – and when I say “add,” I mean I was going to add a pinch just for the heck of it, and the cap dropped off my shaker and more than I intended went into the mix. They tasted terrific though.
The Pigeon (aka chicken thigh) Rolls were a request as I’ve made them before and my husband loves them. They look like sausage rolls, which seems appropriate.
So, put all this together and you have a fine Outlander High tea. Once again, I can’t recommend this cookbook enough. And if you’re an Outlander fan, it’s the perfect resource for your next fan party.
If you’re interested in the Outlander Kitchen cookbook, you can find it at either of the links below. If you search through the Amazon reviews, you’ll find mine, with more recipe photos.
I’ve made Mrs. Grahahm’s Chocolate Biscuits, the Digestive cookies above, several times, and love them with a good cup of tea.
You’ll find this recipe on the Outlander Kitchen website, along with many more, for the perfect Outlander or Scottish Afternoon Tea or High Tea.
Outlander Kitchen Website for book and more recipes
Get book on Amazon