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Are you intrigued by the beauty of tea sandwiches, but unsure how to make them? These crab salad sandwiches are so easy to assemble.
you can chop up vegetables, butter bread, and use a biscuit cutter, then you’ll be amazed at how quickly these come together. Feel free to make the salad ahead of time, so it can chill and the flavors have time to meld.
What are traditional tea sandwiches?
They are small and dainty – with no more than two to three bites. They have many different kinds of fillings, such as meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruit. Cucumber, egg, chicken, crab, smoked salmon, ham, cheese and pickle, roast beef, tuna, pimento cheese, and fig jam are popular tea sandwich fillings in the UK and US.
How do you keep them from drying out?
You can make the salad filling a day in advance, but assemble them a couple of hours before the party begins. When your sandwiches are assembled, dampen a paper towel and wring out the excess water. Place it on top, and cover with plastic wrap or put in an airtight container and refrigerate. The damp paper towel has two purposes: it hydrates the bread and it acts as protective barrier from the air. You can also use a sheet of wax paper and place a damp kitchen towel over top. Just before serving, place the sandwiches on a platter or a tray to prevent the bread from drying out.
Can this recipe made the day before?
Most popular tea sandwich fillings can be made the day before your big event. Fillings like crab, egg, chicken all taste wonderful the next day. You could also prep some of the toppings or garnishes the day before. It’s better to assemble them a couple of hours before the guests start to arrive so the bread doesn’t get soggy or the sandwiches dry out.
What are they made of?
Traditionally, they are made on soft bread with a variety of fillings. The fillings usually have vegetables, cheese, fruits or meats that are diced so they look dainty. The crusts are cut off and they are cut into pretty shapes, such as triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles. Tea sandwiches look pretty and make the guest feel special.
What is the best bread to use for this recipe?
Most fillings shine with soft white bread or soft whole wheat bread, but fillings that have a strong flavor do better with pumpernickel or rye bread. Sweet fillings would taste wonderful on raisin bread. If you can find bread that is sliced very thin, your end result will look more dainty.
How do you cut the bread?
It’s best to assemble the sandwiches first, then cut the crusts off; this way the filling goes right to the edges. With a standard loaf of bread, you can cut four triangles or three bars from two slices of bread. You can cut the the bread into larger squares or very dainty cubes. If you’re making circular shapes, use a biscuit cutter or a small drinking glass. Flower shaped cookie cutters also make a pretty design. Use any leftover bread for breadcrumbs, croutons, or toad in the holes.
How to serve
They are traditionally served on a round plate on the bottom tier of a three tier tray. The second tier holds scones, and the top tier displays dainty desserts. You can also serve these on a fancy platter.
How long do these last unrefrigerated?
If the event is indoors, all tea sandwiches with mayonnaise should not be left out for more than two hours. If they don’t have mayo, and they are being served at room temperature, no more than four hours is safe.
What do you serve with this recipe?
A traditional British afternoon tea would have three courses. The first course is a variety of savory and sweet dainty tea sandwiches. The second course is scones with clotted cream and jam. The last course is dainty desserts like pastries, meringues, and macarons. Provide a variety of different kinds of hot tea, such as black, green, and herbal.
How to Make
First, gather all the ingredients. Cut up the vegetables and the dill.
Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
Place the crab, cucumbers, red onion, celery, orange bell pepper, and the fresh dill in a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
Gently mix the ingredients to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover the salad and chill for at least one hour.
Butter the bottom and top slices of bread.
Place one tablespoon of salad on to the center of each slice.
Put the top slice on, then use a biscuit cutter to cut out circular shapes.
Keep the remaining bread for croutons or toad in the holes.
Garnish these with a small sprig of fresh dill. Enjoy!
- Want a fancier top? Use a tiny cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the center.
- Don’t like them circular? Try triangles, fingers, square, cubes, flower shapes.
- Don’t want bread? Try puff pastry or phyllo cups for canapes.
- Don’t like them in one layer? Try open faced, double decker, rolled, or cubes wrapped with prosciutto.
- Don’t want a tea sandwich? Use a hoagie roll, kaiser bun, potato rolls, or Hawaiian rolls.
- Need garnish ideas? Try radish, watercress, chive curl, edible flowers, cucumbers
- Don’t know what to do with the leftover bread? Make toad in the holes; the crab tastes wonderful with egg.
- Don’t want soggy sandwiches? Butter the insides of the top and bottom slices.
Looking for more tea sandwiches? Here’s some great ideas.
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Crab salad sandwiches are a savory finger food recipe that you can serve at an afternoon tea party or baby shower. The crab salad can be made ahead, and the sandwiches easily assembled before the party begins. Enjoy this elegant treat at your next party!
For the Crab Salad
- 8.5 ounces canned wild caught crab meat, drained (240g)
- 1/4 cup English cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup Duke’s mayo (56g)
- 1 tablespoon sour cream (15g)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- dash Worcestershire sauce
For the Sandwiches
- 2 loaves of very thin white bread, 48 slices
- butter, softened
- fresh dill for garnish
Making the Crab Salad
- Mix the crab salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Carefully fold the salad dressing into the crab mixture, then cover and chill for one hour.
Making the Tea Sandwiches
- Butter thinly sliced white bread.
- Place 1 tablespoon of crab salad in the center of 24 slices of bread, then place the remaining 24 slices on top.
- Use a 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter to make the bread a circle shape. Garnish with a dill sprig and serve immediately.
- Try radish, watercress, chive curl, edible flowers, cucumbers if you want more garnish ideas.
- Make toad in the holes with the leftover bread.
- Prevent soggy sandwiches by buttering the insides of the top and bottom slices.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Chopped
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: afternoon tea, tea sandwich, crab salad
This recipe was originally published on March 1, 2019.