Cucumber sandwiches are always the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of afternoon tea. It just isn’t a proper tea without them. There are as many ways to make them as there are varieties of loose leaf tea. If your larder is spare, a simple spread of butter and cucumber on white bread will do. But if you want to jazz it up, try adding this version to your line up. -E
Shapes of Tea Sandwiches: Circle, Triangle, Square, or Rectangle?
Cucumber Dill Tea Sandwiches
12 slices hearty whole grain bread
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 T. minced fresh chives
2 T. minced fresh dill
pinch of kosher salt
1 English cucumber
1. Place cream cheese, chives, dill and salt in small a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
2. Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline slicer, slice the cucumber very thin-about 1/16th of an inch thick. Place the cucumber slices between two sheets of paper towel. Blot the excess moisture from the cucumber slices.
3. Spread a layer of the herbed cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Lay 6 to 8 cucumber slices in a single layer on half the slices. Top with second piece of bread.
4. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the crusts off the the bread and then each sandwich into desired shape.
I use a Benriner mandoline to slice my cucumbers as it quickly makes consistent slices. This kitchen workhorse is adjustable so that your veggies are almost translucent.
When it comes time to slice your sandwiches, I find that if you have an electric knife, this makes the job more precise and much easier and faster–especially if you are making sandwiches for a crowd.
If you want to make sandwiches several hours ahead of your tea, cut the crusts off of the sandwiches and cut the individual sandwiches, then wrap 3-4 of them in plastic wrap at a time and place in the refrigerator. If you want to make the sandwiches about an hour before your tea, place on half-sheet pan or arrange them on the plate for the 3-tiered tea tray. Then wet and wring out paper towels and gently lay the unfurled damp towels on top of the sandwiches until tea time.
© 2020, Blue Willow Kitchen