Confiture au Thé Madame Gris (Lady Grey Tea Jam)

By • February 18, 2013 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a take on the French Milk Jam, Confiture au Lait, a specialty of Normandy. Think of it as the Dulce de Leche of France.

Milk Jam is made by cooking down whole milk, sugar and split vanilla pods for an hour or two. In the end, you have a 'caramel' sauce that's as delicious as can be.

I love, love, love Lady Grey. I reverse engineer my tea, by warming up milk and adding the teabag to it. This way, the bitter tanins in the tea are smoothed out and mellowed and the essence of the tea is distilled, into a cup, ready to be drunk.

We discovered this quite by accident a few years ago - my husband and I. The taste is very different from brewing the tea in hot water and adding milk later. An extra special part of our tea ritual was spooning a touch of sugar into the mug and stirring, to sweeten the tea....but then we would also add more sugar, and this time wouldn't stir, so as you drink the mug down, the tea progressively gets sweeter! Heavenly!!

I decided to make a 'tea-milk' jam, hoping the slight bitterness from the tea would balance the sweetness from the sugar and milk. And it works well - the orange, and bergamot flavours of Lady Grey really carry through and end up creating a wonderfully fragrant, sweet 'jam' that would be at home on a slice of buttered crusty french bread as well as lining the base of a tart, topped with bananas and whipped cream, swirls some through vanilla ice cream, sandwich it between two cookies - the choice is yours. I know where I'm going.....
Kitchen Butterfly

Makes over 1/2 a cup

  • 500ml milk
  • 180g sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods, split and seeds scraped out
  • 4 Lady Grey teabags
  1. In a heavy sided, deep pot (I used a 'small' one - about 15cm deep and 15 cm wide) - combine the milk, sugar and split vanilla pod. Bring to the boil, add the four tea bags and turn down to simmer, on low heat.
  2. Simmer and stir using a wooden spoon, making sure the spoon scrapes the the bottom of the pan to move bits and prevent it from burning. Stir every 10 minutes. Sometimes it will foam and froth, skim - stir it in and continue (I agree this can be tedious but the results are worth enduring tedium for, in my humble opinion - in any case, gather your friends around the cooking pot and take turns stirring while you chat!)
  3. After 45 minutes, when the mixture is a golden caramel colour and the flavour of tea shines through, remove and discard the tea bags. The mixture would have reduced in volume to about a quarter.
  4. Keep stirring till you get a loose honey consistency. It will thicken to a paste, like Nutella or peanut butter once it cools down.
  5. Store in clean, sterilized jars and allow to cool. Once cool, refrigerate and allow the jam 'rest' - 2-3 days before eating. If it is too stiff when you're ready to devour it, warm it gently on the stove top, or in the microwave. Slather on bread, spread on bread dough to make tea jam sticky rolls, with pecans or eat by the spoonful.
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Linda_cooking

over 1 year ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

Hi KB-- You've convinced me of the more refined pleasures of Lady Grey. Lady Grey's citrusy flavor is the perfect complement for this tea-milk jam. The use of two whole vanilla bean pods adds a fragrant complexity. I love that it's a very simple recipe (once you commit yourself to just under an hour of stirring, stirring, stirring!) I didn't mind the stirring, though-- each stir is a mini-aromatherapy session. I enjoyed this wonderful confection on a baguette (and from the spoon), and am imagining it as a filling for alfajores. Lovely!

Spiceroute

over 1 year ago Madhuja

I was hoping to have some sort of a tea jam for my teableskiver filling, but I had no clue how to go about it! This is absolutely the perfect solution! :)

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

Great stuff. Those teableskivers look so good!

Linda_cooking

over 1 year ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

What kind of milk do you use-- whole, 2%, 1%? I would imagine not skim.

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

I used whole milk. Sigh - just when I think I'm acing recipe writing, I see humbling 'ways to improve' :-)!

Linda_cooking

over 1 year ago Beautiful, Memorable Food

Hi, KB-- Ok, this recipe has inspired me to give Lady Grey another try, to see if she can win me over and take the place of my beloved Earl Grey. Looks lovely.

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

I love the Earl but his lady is dignified, and full of zest. I loveeeeeee her more. One last try?

036

over 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yum
I am afraid I would just eat it with a spoon until gone

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

Hmm,....did you know that fingers served as spoons in the past. In the very recent past! :-)

I'm so thrilled that this contest has led me on a voyage of discovery for I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEE my Lady Grey, and spreading it on bread is totally awesome! Thank you Food52

3-bizcard

over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, is this a caramel? It sounds delicious, would love on ice cream!

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

It is kind of a caramel - kind of like dulce de leche. I've just had it on some French bread.....ahead of my 'wait 2 - 3 days', and it is wonderful, but then again I LOVE lady grey!

Ozoz_profile

over 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

And thanks.