You don't have to be on Downton Abbey to enjoy a lovely cup of tea with classic Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. Give your Southern brunch, tea, or cocktail party a touch of class with these delicate nibbles.
What in a Cucumber Tea Sandwich?
A classic cucumber tea sandwich consists of a spread of herbed cream cheese and sliced cucumbers in between thin slices of white bread. The crusts are cut from the sandwiches, for a hint of refinement, and the sandwiches are cut in triangles or “fingers” to be easy to eat.
How To Prevent a Soggy Sandwich
Of course, nobody likes a soggy tea sandwich. Use this easy technique to wick away the excess water in your cukes: Toss the slices with salt, then roll up in a kitchen towel. Your cucumbers will be slightly softened and less slippery in the sandwich.
This is not the sandwich for a peasant bread with big, open holes in it. A fine-textured sandwich bread, like Pepperidge Farm or other Pullman-style bread, is the way to go for neat and pretty slices.
1 large English cucumber (about 1 lb.), thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 ( 8 oz. ) package cream cheese , softened
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
8 slices firm sandwich bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)
First, gather your ingredients. Have a large, clean kitchen towel ready.
Salt the cucumber slices:
In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with salt. Be sure the cucumber slices are thoroughly coated.
Spread the cucumber slices in an even layer on the kitchen towel. Roll it up and let stand to absorb the moisture from the cucumber slices while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Make cream cheese spread:
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and lemon zest until smoothly combined.
Stir in the dill and chives.
Build cucumber sandwiches:
Place four slices of bread on a cutting board and spread about 1/4 cup of cream cheese mixture on each.
Unroll the towel with the cucumber slices and divide them between the four slices of bread, placing them evenly on the cream cheese.
Place the remaining four slices of bread on top to make sandwiches, pressing down lightly.
Slice for serving:
If desired, slice off the crusts, then cut in half in triangles, or into four "fingers." Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.