The cornerstone of any afternoon tea party is the sandwich selection. Here are my pointers for a great tea sandwich and some recipes to get you started.
You are free to use any bread you wish, but my preference is thinly sliced white bread such as Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced White. The goal is to make light, delicate finger sandwiches that are small enough to sample several sandwiches in a single session. Larger sandwiches won't leave you room for scones and dessert!
Here are three of my favorite tea sandwich fillings.
Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
6 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup mayonnaise, or more for extra creaminess
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then turn the heat to low so there are no bubbles. Use a skimmer to slowly and gently place the eggs in the pot. Turn the heat back to high and boil the eggs for 12-14 minutes.
Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process and cool.
Once your eggs are cool to the touch, peel and discard the egg shells.
Cut the hard-boiled eggs to your desired size (I prefer chunky).
Add the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, salt, and pepper to bowl and stir all ingredients together. Fill sandwiches with the egg mixture, cut off the crusts, and cut the sandwiches in half or in triangles to serve.
Gravlax and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
6 oz thinly sliced Gravlax (see recipe for home-made Gravlax)
Whipped cream cheese
Thinly sliced bread
Spread two slices of bread with a thin layer of cream cheese. Add slices of Gravlax to make a sandwich. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwiches in half or in triangles to serve.
Watercress and Cucumber Sandwiches
1 large English cucumber
1 cup finely chopped watercress
1/2 cup softened butter
Slice cucumber into thin rounds and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Let rest for 1/2 hour in a colander to release the liquid.
Meanwhile, stir the watercress and butter together until it turns into a homogenous paste. Lay the drained cucumbers on paper towels to soak up the liquid.
Spread two slices of bread with the watercress butter, then with the cucumber slices to make a sandwich. Cut off the crusts and cut the sandwiches in half or in triangles to serve.