I am always on the look out for ways to make my tea drinking seasonal and festive, I drink so much of the stuff that any missed opportunity to turn it in to a little celebration feels like a waste. At Christmas it’ll be with a minced pie on the side, at Halloween there are plenty of spooky shaped biscuits to be made and in summer there’s lovely fresh fruit to be made in to tarts. When it comes to Spring, and Easter in particular, the perfect accompaniment for me is hot cross buns.
Hot cross buns are a spiced bread bun containing fruit and decorated with two crossed strips of dough which give them their name. The cross is what gives the bun it’s name and creates the association with Spring. These days it is linked with Easter as a symbol of the crucifixion but originally it was eaten on the pagan festival of Eostre, with the cross dividing the bun in to four to symbolise the four quarters of the moon. They are available all year round but if you bake them on Good Friday they are supposed to last all through the following year. I have never yet baked them successfully or made a pack last more than a couple of days so this theory remains to be tested.
Hot cross buns can be served just like tea cakes, split in half, toasted and buttered. They make a wonderful tea time treat, not too sweet or too heavy for a spring afternoon but warm and just spicy enough to fortify you against the last of the morning frosts.
Sharing hot cross buns is good luck so if you have a friend over for tea this Spring then why not serve up a plate as an accompaniment? If superstition is to be believed it will ensure that your friendship lasts for the year to come. I know that anyone who served up a plate of them to me would have a friend for life!
Easter has passed but there is no bad time to enjoy hot cross buns and a pot of tea! Check out Jessica’s other articles on this blog.
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