Afternoon tea is something I absolutely love! Here’s a selection of my own favourite fillings. You will likely need to pre-order a few days ahead from your favourite bakery. They may ask if you want double of single loaves. If you want to make pinwheels you’ll have to order that too. That it will depend on how many you are planning to make. A single loaf will make approximately 6 or 7 sandwiches. Bubbly wine is a very nice addition to a late afternoon tea and makes things so festive too!
Note: I do not put lettuce in the sandwiches simply because they don’t keep well and I find that they have a tendency to fall apart when cut up. A bit of arugula or watercress would be nice in some of the fillings.
Cheese Pinwheels (Everyone seems to love these!)
Makes 6 Rolls (Approximately) – providing 24 pinwheel sandwiches once cut up
You will need 1 single size loaf of square sandwich bread, sliced horizontally
1 container of McLaren’s Imperial cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
A pinch each of onion powder & garlic powder
1/8 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 roasted red pepper, cut into long, thin strips, blotted with paper towels until quite dry
A handful of chives or a few thin strips of green onions
1 small jar of pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives, blotted with paper towels until dry
1 bunch finely chopped parsley (the processor works very well)
Make the Filling:
Using a food processor or an electric mixer, combine the cheeses, onion and garlic powders and Worcestershire sauce. Process until smooth; remove to a bowl, set aside.
Trim the crusts from the bread. Using a rolling pin, roll over each slice of bread flattening it. Butter the bread. Spread with approximately 2 Tbsp. or so of the cheese mixture. With the short end of a slice of the cheese covered bread closest to you, lay about 5 olives at the edge. Place 3 pepper strips equally on the bread, then a piece of chive or green onion on either side of the pepper strip.
Roll the sandwich up tightly, place on a piece of plastic wrap, roll up, twisting the ends. Continue with the remaining bread slices. Once all sandwiches are made place in the fridge chilling until cold. I find these work out very well if made the day before.
When ready to begin assembling your sandwich tray remove the sandwiches from the fridge, unwrap and spread a light coating of very soft butter all over the outside of the roll, then roll the sandwich in the finely chopped parsley. Trim the ragged ends of each end of the roll then cut the roll into 4 slices.
Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches
I make these as triangles most of the time but they also look beautiful done open face on a round of bread and garnished with a sprig of watercress! So pretty! I found that plain cream cheese is kind of unexciting so I “corrected” the cream cheese. If local tomatoes are in season, I will thinly slice some, place them on paper towels so the juices can be absorbed and include them with the cucumbers. If you do this, you will not be able to make the sandwiches ahead as they will be soggy.
Make the Cream cheese Filling:
Makes Approximately 4 Sandwiches
8 slices of square sandwich bread
1 English cucumber
½ a 250 g. package cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives or green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Few drops of Tabasco
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Unsalted butter, softened so that it spreads very easily
English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise, placed on paper towels to absorb moisture
Washed & dried watercress
Combine the cream cheese, chives, dill, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt & pepper, using an electric mixer, until smooth (a processor tends to make the mixture on the runny side).
Butter the bread, spread with some of the cream cheese mixture on both sides, top 4 slices with cucumber amd watercress; top each with the 2nd slice of bread. Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up the cream cheese so it will be easier to trim the crusts and cut the sandwich.
To Make Open Face Rounds:
Makes 18 – 24 Open Faced Sandwiches
You will need 1 or 2 loaves of square bread, sliced horizontally. Butter the bread slices, use a 2” biscuit cutter, cut out the rounds. Spread each with some of the cream cheese mixture, then top with thinly sliced rounds of English cucumber then top with a sprig of watercress.
Note: To make them even prettier, you could put a nice plump, cooked shrimp on top, then garnish with the watercress sprig and a small piece of chive tucked in.
Curried Egg Sandwich Filling
Absolutely one of my all-time favourite egg sandwich fillings! The addition of curry powder adds a little sparkle in my opinion. Fancy sandwiches, I think, really need fillings flavours that are “pumped” up a bit, to make extra tasty.
Makes 6 Regular Sandwiches
12 slices of square bread, regular cut
6 large hardboiled eggs
2 tsp. minced green onions
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise (lite or regular)
Salt to taste
Unsalted butter, softened so that it’s very easy to spread
Make the Filling:
Place the eggs in a pot of cold water to cover then cover with a lid; bring the eggs to a boil and just as soon as it does; remove from the heat; allow to stand 10 – 12 minutes still with the lid on. Drain the eggs then fill the pot with cold water; drain the cold water, refill the pot again with cold water; let the eggs stand until cold, then peel them.
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the eggs into a large bowl; add the onions, curry powder, Dijon mustard. Add enough mayonnaise to the mixture to bring it together but not too soft; otherwise the egg filling will ooze out of the sandwich when eaten. Cover and chill the filling until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
Make the Sandwiches:
Butter the bread; divide the egg filling among 6 of the bread slices; cover with the remaining slices and place on a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet; cover with plastic wray, then with a damp tea towel. Chill for at least one hour; remove from the fridge, trim the crusts and cut sandwiches into triangles.