Finger sandwich selection

A new book celebrates some of the delicious nibbles you can make to accompany the very British tradition of afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea just isn't the same without a plate of elegant sandwiches cut into slim fingers. Here are two innovative fillings, plus one true classic.

◆ 12 thin slices of fresh white andbrown bread
◆ Whipped butter, for spreading
◆ Salt and freshly ground black pepper

◆ 40g thinly sliced Parma ham
◆ 1 ripe fig
◆ ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
◆ ½ tsp olive oil
◆ Handful of rocket leaves

◆ 50g blue or white Stilton cheese, thinly sliced
◆ 1 ripe pear

◆ 2 tbsp mayonnaise
◆ ½ tsp grated lemon zest
◆ 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
◆ Handful of cress

1. Lay out the slices of bread on a board. Spread whipped butter evenly and thinly on the slices to seal the bread.
2. To make the Parma ham and fig sandwiches, fold the ham on top of two slices of the bread. Cut the fig into thin wedges, remove and discard the skin, then arrange the wedges on top of the ham. Whisk the vinegar and olive oil together in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the fig. Scatter with rocket leaves then top with another two slices of buttered bread.
3. To make the Stilton and pear sandwiches, arrange the cheese over two slices of the bread. Slice the pear into thin wedges, remove and discard the core, then arrange the wedges on top of the cheese. Season with black pepper, then top with another two slices of buttered bread.
4. To make the egg mayonnaise sandwiches, combine the mayonnaise with the lemon zest and season with black pepper. Add the chopped eggs and fold together. Divide the mixture between two slices of the bread and spread out evenly. Top with cress and another two slices of buttered bread.
5. To cut the sandwiches, lay your hand on top of the sandwich and press down gently. Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, cut off the crusts. Next, cut each sandwich lengthways into three fingers. Serve.

◆ The Art of Afternoon Tea: Tradition, Etiquette and Delectable Recipes for Teatime Treats will be published on 25 June by Ryland Peters & Small, price £11.95

This recipe first appeared in the June 2024 issue of The Lady magazine.

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