This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite tea books The London Ritz Afternoon Tea, a book that’s long on history but a bit short on the testing of its recipes. I think it’s worth trying them all but you should test them well in advance of your gathering.
This recipe is more complicated than the average smoked salmon sandwich, which usually consists simply of buttered bread, salmon and a sprinkle of pepper. Both are delicious.
I made them open-faced because I thought the top layer of bread would cause the mousse to squish out the sides, and because the colors of the salmon, bread and herbs make a nice visual.
Smoked Salmon Sandwiches (makes approximately 15 sandwiches)
1/2 lb. (225g) smoked salmon sliced thin
2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) ground white pepper
1 cube (113g) unsalted butter, softened
Fresh dill, chopped
Zest of one lemon
1 loaf brown bread
2-inch or 5cm biscuit cutter
Note: Have damp paper towels at the ready to cover the sandwiches as you make them. This will keep the bread from drying out. Wet the towel and wring it out, don’t leave it sopping.
Take half the salmon, and mince finely.
Add the minced salmon to 1/3 cup (80ml) of cream, and stir to combine.
Press the mixture through a mesh sieve with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. You will need to periodically scrape the sieved salmon off the back of the strainer into the bowl.
This will take a bit of time and you will feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but it will happen.
Add the white pepper, and whisk the mixture together. After being sieved, the salmon will have clumped together; you want to break it up so everything is evenly distributed.
Chill in the refrigerator while working on the next step.
Whip the remaining 1/3 cup (80ml) cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled salmon mixture a little at a time.
Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut the bread into rounds.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Spread a thin layer of butter on each of the rounds.
Add a layer of the mousse.
Top with salmon, a sprinkle of dill and lemon zest. Serve or cover with damp paper towels, and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.