I’ve waited a long time to do this post. We made this masterpiece for my dear friend, Hils, surprise birthday tea luncheon on March 9. While this sandwich fascinates me, I worried that it’s many steps to construct would not capture most people’s interest…it’s really simple, but has many repetitive steps to bring the finished product to a beautiful fruition. While it is absolutely “doable”, it does take a steady hand with a good bread knife to pull it off effectively. Once built, you end up with a neat and tidy vehicle for delivering FIVE perfectly constructed, petite bite, distinctly different and separate tea sandwiches which are packed with flavor and “light” on the bread. I don’t personally possess the steady hands required to slice this pain de mie (Pullman loaf) into 10 fairly equal horizontal slices. Actually, I suppose it’s not the skill I lack, but rather, the patience. The good news for me is that my husband and his good friend, Clive, DO have those skills. Clive was an executive chef (European trained), who once worked at the Savoy in London and prepared this awesome tea sandwich for their outstanding and world renowned afternoon teas. He is the one who showed me how to make this layered tea sandwich. It serves 12 guests. We made two loaves this day. The good news is that they can be prepared hours in advance, covered with a damp towel, refrigerated and ready to serve – nice and neat – and impressive on the buffet table. Below are step by step photos of the preparation of this unique party favorite. I chose traditional fillings of minced ham, curried egg salad, creamed smoked salmon, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, and finally, topped with thinly sliced cucumbers with mint and creamed cheese. Below are the step by step photos of the construction of our two centerpiece finger sandwiches.
Once a guest takes their own skewer, the five sandwiches slip off easily into five separate, small sandwiches. Perfect when paired with salads or soups at a luncheon, or by themselves for an afternoon tea. Thank you Clive for making these…they were the hit of the party (sorry I didn’t get great shots of the final serving…it was a fun day).