This week on The Great DPPL Bake-Along:
We make Cucumber Sandwiches, the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
We’ll share our results, our recipes, and a little bit about our chosen stories on this blog.
AND we invite YOU to bake along with us.
Share what you make by tagging us with #DPPLBakes, send us your favorite recipes, or just enjoy reading our entries.
Jack: Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?
Algernon: Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen.
Jack: How perfectly delightful! ...
Algernon: --[Jack puts out his hand to take a sandwich. Algernon at once interferes.] Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.]
Jack: Well, you have been eating them all the time.
Algernon: That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter...
Lady Bracknell: ... And now I’ll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.
Aunt Augusta: (Goes over to tea-table.) . . . (picking up empty plate in horror). Good heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially...
If these delightful little sandwiches keep disappearing from the plate they must be delectable, an they are!
In researching this recipe I found several variations.
The one I am providing here is the classic version which was likely what Aunt Augusta planned fore that day.
It is made with butter and lemon juice. More modern interpretations substitute those with cream cheese and minced garlic.
I made them both ways and they all were wonderful. The entire plate was gone in minutes.
And though all were great, I thought the classic butter/lemon ones were best. Easily made vegan if you substitute the butter with a vegan alternative like Smart Balance.
- 8 pieces of white or italian bread, sliced thin and slightly toasted.
- 1 medium to large cucumber, sliced thin (I used a mandoline also known as a fingertip decapitator, so be careful).
- Butter or margerine. I used Smart Balance.
- Dill (or chives if you prefer).
- Juice from half a lemon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Very lightly toast the bread, just enough to give some crispness but not enough to significantly brown it.
- Cut the crusts off the bread making them into perfect squares.
- Spread the butter liberally on the bread.
- Sprinkle with dill (or chives), salt and pepper.
- Layer the cucumbers on the bread so they overlap some but are not too thick.
- Drizzle with lemon juice.
- Apply top piece of bread and then cut into 4 smaller sandwiches (either squares or triangles or some of each).
Serve with tea and Enjoy!