Cucumber sandwiches were part of my upbringing living in the United Kingdom most of my life.
I’ve always been a fan of cucumber sandwiches, even when I moved out of my parent’s home.
In 2022, Her Majesty the Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service.
From June 2 to 5th, 2022, Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and her 96th Birthday.
I thought it fitting to share my mum’s cucumber sandwich recipe served for afternoon tea.
The official celebration in the UK will begin on 2nd June with the Trooping the Colour and Horse Guards Parade, concerts, street parties and pageants. Across the UK, over 70,000 Big Jubilee Lunches are expected to take place at homes and local village halls over the Jubilee weekend, and over ten million people across the UK are expected to be joining the celebrations.Government of UK
Today you’ll learn:
- What are cucumber sandwiches?
- Variations of cucumber sandwiches
- What is the difference between high tea vs. afternoon tea?
- How to make cucumber sandwiches?
- Mrs. Beeton’s House of Management
Difference Between High Tea and Afternoon Tea
High tea and afternoon tea often are compared the same; however, they are vaguely different.
Cucumber sandwiches are inexpensive, although they are associated with high society Britans.
Working-class Britains didn’t have time to sit in the back garden enjoying a cuppa tea and treats.
They would have to wait until after work to enjoy a cuppa tea, although it was later in the day.
High tea is called supper or dinner in Canada in the UK for the working class.
It was time for tea (dinner), a filling meal such as stew, buns with butter, and salads.
Afternoon Tea With My Parents In The UK
Today, my parents are retired, but while working, there was no time for afternoon tea; now, it’s part of their day.
Mum’s British Victoria Sponge cake is still part of my parent’s afternoon tea in the UK.
When Mrs. CBB, our son and I visited the UK in 2017, we experienced afternoon tea every day.
If you open my mum’s refrigerator, you will find a tray of custards and on the counter a homemade cake.
Mum and dad’s back garden is full of blooming flowers surrounding a white garden table and gazebo.
My mum would bring a cuppa tea and slices of whatever cake she had prepared for the week to the garden table.
We would eat, drink and share stories for a fun afternoon while our son played in the sandbox.
In Scotland, high tea takes on further differentiation. A Scottish high tea is not unlike an afternoon tea but will include some hot food, such as a cheese on toast or other savory goodies.Source
Mrs. Beeton’s House Of Management
If there’s anything I’d love to get from my mum, it’s her British recipes and cookbooks, especially Mrs. Beeton’s House of Management.
My mum’s recipe for a cucumber sandwich slightly differs from Mrs. Beeton’s; however, I enjoy both.
When my mum makes her cucumber finger sandwiches, she keeps her recipe simple.
- Cream Cheese
- White Bread
- Sliced seedless cucumbers
- Salt and Pepper
Although I enjoy mum’s British Cucumber Sandwiches, I’ve combined Mrs. Beeton’s and my mum’s recipes.
Originally published in 24 newspaper columns from 1859 to 1861, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management was at first a guide to managing a household. Today it is a fascinating look at the past and a guide to forgotten skills that can be used today. – Amazon Canada
What Are Cucumber Sandwiches?
Cucumber sandwiches have been around since the early 1900s in the United Kingdom.
The idea behind the cucumber sandwich is that it’s light, airy and fresh for afternoon tea.
Everyday staples such as cucumbers, bread, butter, salt and pepper are all you need.
However, you’ll find different variations of these delicate classic cucumber tea sandwiches.
How To Cut Cucumber Sandwiches
Over the years, what was once a simple cucumber sandwich now has different variations.
Thinly slicing the crust from the bread is traditional, as is white bread, although you can use any bread you’d like.
Typically cucumber sandwiches are cut into triangles and layered on a plate or platter.
Cutting cucumber sandwiches into squares or finger sandwiches is not uncommon.
You can use all three cuts on a platter to add variety for your guests.
- Triangle Cucumber Sandwiches
- Square Cucumber Sandwiches
- Finger Cucumber Sandwiches
Variations Of Cucumber Sandwiches
I don’t mind mixing things up as long as the sandwich is fresh.
I serve some other variations of the British cucumber sandwich that I’ve tried when friends come around.
- Cucumber sandwiches with ham and cream cheese
- Herbed cream cheese cucumber afternoon tea sandwiches
- Fresh tuna salad on buttered bread and thinly sliced cucumbers
- Using fresh dill, mint, basil and chives
- Substituting cream cheese for mayonnaise or sour cream
How To Make Cucumber Sandwiches
Printable recipe below
- 2 Slices of White Bread
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons herbed cream cheese (mint, chives, parsley, basil) Optional or plain cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil, salad oil (traditional) or extra-virgin olive oil
- 8-10 thin slices of a seedless cucumber
- Paper Towel
- Salt and Pepper
Instructions For One Cucumber Sandwich
- Thinly slice a seedless cucumber into 8 to 10 slices
- Place the cucumber slices on a paper towel for 10 minutes to remove excess water
- Remove from paper towel and put them into a bowl
- Add oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice into a small bowl and whisk together
- Pour the dressing into the bowl of cucumbers and mix to coat the cucumbers
- Trim the crust from two slices of white bread *save crusts for bread crumbs
- Using a spreading knife, butter both slices of bread
- On one portion, add a layer of cream cheese on top of the butter
- Layer the sliced cucumbers on one half of the bread
- Put the buttered slice of bread on top of the portion with cucumbers, butter and cream cheese
- Cut into triangles, squares or rectangular (finger)
- Serve on a dish with a serviette
Please let me know what you think of my version of British cucumber tea sandwiches in the comments below.
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