I love afternoon tea: the ceremony, the fine china, the tiny pastries. I first experienced a true afternoon tea in London four years ago, and there’s been no looking back. Since then, going to tea has become a travel indulgence (like in Quito and Buenos Aires).
The idea of slowing down for a “cuppa” [cup of tea] and a pretty snack is a practice I’m trying to incorporate into my life at home more often. I’m already a tea drinker, but there’s something that feels so special about tiny finger sandwiches or scones with tea. It can be simple or it can be full blown with sugar cubes, petit fours, and bone china tea cups. Either way, it’s a nice way to pause and enjoy some time with people you love.
I recently hosted a tea party baby shower for two pregnant friends, and these egg + asparagus sandwiches were a big hit! Along with scones, tea, petit fours, and mimosas, I made a selection of finger sandwiches. I was planning to make a classic egg salad, but I was running short on time and made a deconstructed version instead. (See below for what my kitchen actually looked like in the madness of throwing together sandwiches as guests arrived versus when I photographed the recipe later). Crème fraîche and dijon mustard add a bit of tang and flavor; dill is a classic herb pairing with eggs; and the shaved asparagus added a seasonal crunch. I opted for eggs just shy of hard boiled so the texture of the whites was a little creamier and the yolks were still a vibrant yellow/orange. See the notes below the recipe for more on how to do that.
These don’t require a lot of skill, just some quality ingredients and a few minutes. I’ll also be a serving them as hors d’oeuvres at Easter. Get ready to impress your friends!
2 slices brioche bread
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (or plain greek yogurt)
2 large eggs, hard boiled (or soft boiled with set yolk)
2 stalks asparagus
1-2 sprigs fresh dill
Trim crust off of bread slices, then spread thin layers of dijon and crème fraîche on each. Cut bread into 1.5 - 2” squares.
Slice boiled eggs crosswise into ¼” thick rounds, set aside. Using a vegetable peeler along the length of the asparagus, shave thin pieces and set aside.
On each brioche square, layer a few small pieces of dill, one egg slice, a small pinch of flaky salt, then a piece or two of shaved asparagus.
Serve immediately! If you need to make them a little bit ahead of time, cover with slightly damp paper towels so the bread doesn’t dry out.
I’ve found that fresher eggs are more difficult to peel, so get your eggs a few days in advance if possible. For soft boiled eggs, I have two methods I like: 1) boil eggs for 7 minutes, then dunk them in ice water to stop the cooking, or 2) bring a pot of water to boil, add eggs, immediately turn off heat and let eggs cook for 10-11 minutes before removing to ice water.