Mother’s Day: English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Mother's Day, English, tea sandwich, cucumber, cream cheese, recipe

Foreground: English tea sandwiches. Background – much less formal general sandwich, considering the bread I was working with.

Contains:  Dairy, gluten.  Is:  Vegetarian, quick and easy.  

Mother had several specialties when we were growing up, but one of the most simple (and yet still quite a hit) was her English tea sandwiches.  I loved this one, as well as the smoked salmon, cream cheese and caper one.

recipe, mother's day, cucumber, cream cheese, english tea sandwich

Ingredients, except for the dill. I used the larger holes on the grater for what I used of this cucumber.

I really did like these, she served them when late afternoon appetizers were to be made, or if she had a bridge party (along with other tea sandwiches) but I always had a hankering for these ones, if there were any left over.

So, for today, I’m re-creating the cucumber tea sandwich.

Mother's Day, english, tea sandwich, cucumber, sour cream

I’ve made a couple of changes:  1)  I’m using a bakery bread which is not squared off around the edges unlike the British tea sandies – back in the day, supermarkets carried better quality bread that made for accurately-shaped tea sandwiches than one can find in supermarkets today.  (No, one of the few things Mom did not make herself was bread.)  Personally, I’m not interested in purchasing bread with a huge rap list of ingredients longer than my arm.  2) I don’t use the green food coloring!  In fact, when I moved out to my first home away from home, Mom gave me a pack of Durkees food colorings, red, green, blue, yellow.   I’ve never used them in food.  In fact I still have that same set – I’ve used them for photography projects, and for coloring test tube water when hitting Halloween parties as a mad scientist or the like.  Useful.  Just not as food, and now that they’re well over 30 years old, I wouldn’t dream of consuming them anyway!

Mother's day, recipe, cucumber, cream cheese, English, tea sandwich

Grated, ready to mix

Note:  Cuke peels and bread crusts went to chickens.  I drank the cucumber juice.

recipe, English, tea sandwich, cucumber, cream cheese

Do as I say, not as I did. Remove crusts before spreading, for the actual tea sandwich version.  I didn’t spread this one to the full ends, since I was going to turn this into the English tea sandwich version – two squared small sandwiches with no crusts.  Not seen: topped this with watercress.

Prep Time:  15 minutes.
Cook Time:  Nope.
Rest Time:  Nope.
Serves: Double the recipe and you’ll have enough for a good tea party. 
Cuisine:  British.
Leftovers:  Wrap well, refrigerate, eat in a day or two.

English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

  • 4 ounces / 113 grams English cucumber:  You don’t have to de-seed the English cukes, but do de-seed the other types if using.  Weigh the cuke after de-seeding, if you to this. In either case, peel your cukes!
  • 4 ounces / 113 grams cream cheese (half a package).  Use the regular type.  I recommend Philadelphia brand but have also discovered that Organic Valley is good.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or 2 sprigs chopped fresh (or frozen but thawed) dill.
  • Thin sliced bread, several slices (depends on size).  Sourdough, pumpernickel, rye, or a country-style white.  Home made is a great type, should you have the inclination.
  • Garnish.  Watercress makes a great one, but is optional


Grate the cucumber, discarding much of the seeds if it is a regular and not an English one.   (I like the seeds; I reserve for a salad….)  Squeeze out excess water through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.  Or use your hands.

Add the cream cheese and dill, mix with a spoon.

Take the bread, cut off the crust like they do in Britain.

On half the pieces, spread out the cucumber mixture, about a quarter inch (6 or so mm) thick.

Top with sprigs of watercress, optional

Top each with an empty slice of bread.  Cut into squares or whatever shape(s) that the loaf lends itself to, 1 to  2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long.

Serve!!!  (Note, I did have about half my cucumber/cream cheese mixture left over… something for later in the day!   This was just made for myself aka for the blog – normally I’d want to serve this to others.)

recipe, Mother's Day, sandwich, cucumber, cream cheese, watercress

Then, after the tea sandwiches, I decided to make a regular style sandwich using the same ingredients – If you are not having a proper tea party, this is just simply a fine way to deal with irregularly-shaped bread!

I’d store any leftover spread separate from the bread, to make the bread last longer.  Save for up to two days.

recipe, mother's day, English, tea sandwich, cucumber, cream cheese










About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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14 Responses to Mother’s Day: English Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

  1. These were my British Mom’s favorite. She used to make them for me when we had a flight to catch, for snacking on the plane. Because there is no mayo, they keep well. I agree, finding thin sliced white bread of the correct shape is a challenge in the U.S. For awhile one of our local bakeries made pullman style bread but they don’t any longer. Happy Mother’s Day.

  2. Jhuls says:

    I love anything with dill and anything that’s so easy to make but oh so good! I would like to have two, please.😁 Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party! Have a lovely weekend!

  3. In India, we use cucumbers in making sandwiches too, but in a wholly different way. I love your version of using cucumbers along with cream cheese in a sandwich – can imagine just how beautiful that would have tasted! 🙂

  4. Rita says:

    These are different. But sound good. My cucumber sandwiches are Pepperidge white bread slices buttered and cucumbers in between. Black pepper and salt.

  5. These are my MOST favorite! Emphasis on most 😄

  6. helenfern says:

    I never made this by grating the cucumber. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party! Have a wonderful week.

  7. Pingback: A Weekend at the Homestead | Of Goats and Greens

  8. Miz Helen says:

    What a special treat, I just love cucumber tea sandwiches! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

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