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Tea Tray Savouries: Easy Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Welcome to Tea, my online tribute to the art of having tea. As Henry James once said: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

Today’s treat is Smoked Salmon Pinwheels. Perfect for tea, cocktails, picnics or cricket matches.

Online Guide to the Tea Ritual

Taking a traditional “afternoon tea” is definitely a bucket list experience. To do it properly, I have created a handy guide to help you enjoy the experience: Downton Abbey Cooks Online Guide to Afternoon Tea.

If you want to go deep into Afternoon Tea you can download a signed copy of my book from my Shop page.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Time for another savoury treat for our tea tray which also works well as a quick and easy appetizer, particularly if you are planning to host friends to watch Downton Abbey.

I have many salmon recipes in my bag of tricks to showcase the wild salmon my family catches each summer.  I shared a similar smoked salmon mousse pinwheel dish which used pumpernickel bread as the wrapper.  In this version you can add a bit more colour, prep the rolls ahead of time, store them in the fridge and slice just before you are ready to serve your guests.


Smoked Salmon Mousse Pinwheels

This sandwich adds a lovely punch of color to your tea tray or appetizer platter with contrasting dark pumpernickel bread with deep orange smoked salmon.  The Ritz London serves a similar version with whisky, but I like the fresh flavors of vodka and dill. You are only limited by your imagination.
Course Afternoon Tea, Appetizer
Cuisine English, Scottish
Servings 12 pieces


For the Mousse

  • 1/3 cup non fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. chives minced
  • 2 tbsp. vodka
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon make your own recipe below
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

For the Sandwiches

  • 12 slices dark wheat or pumpernickel bread, crusts removed
  • 2 ounces cold or hot smoked salmon


Make the Mousse

  • Put the greek yoghurt, chives, vodka, salmon, lemon juice and pepper in a food processor and process for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days to let the flavours blend.

Make the Sandwiches

  • Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread slices. Spread the salmon mousse on one side of each slice and arrange pieces of smoked salmon on top.
  • Roll up and place seam side down on a plate. Cover with a damp tea towel or paper towels until ready to serve.
  • Larger pinwheels: Cut in half diagonally and stand on the flat edge. Smaller pinwheels: C into smaller bite sized 2 inch angled sections and serve flat.
  • Makes 12 large or 24 mini pinwheels



Simply Made Cold Smoked Salmon

Preserving fresh caught salmon was once a necessity before refigeration was available, and became the starring ingredient in a number of dishes from breakfast to cocktails. It is easy to make your own without a smoker, all you need is smoked salt and a few days.
Cuisine Edwardian, Scottish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • Fresh salmon (at least 1 pound, perferably wild, cut into two equal pieces)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (per pound of fish)
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt (per pound of fish)
  • 1 tbsp. smoked salt (per pound of fish)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cracked black pepper (per pound of fish)


  • Combine salt cure ingredientsand make sure that the sugar is evenly distributed amongst the salt granules.
  • Lay out two lengths of plastic wrap side by side and slightly overlapping on your countertop, at least 3 feet in length, then place the fish on the wrap side by side (skin side down) and then completely cover the fish will cure on top.
  • Fold the two halves of fish on top of each other, flesh sides together. Wrap the plastic wrap around the fish to keep all the salt and sugar mixture in, but let the juices flow out.
  • Take a large glass bowl and turn a small glass bowl upside down in the center of it. Next place your fish on top of the smaller bowl. This will allow the juices to flow out of the wrap and into the larger bowl. To help drain the juices, place a plate over the top of the fish, and then wrap with more plastic to help reduce fish smells in your fridge.
  • Leave the fish for 5days in your fridge. You may wish to flip the fish eachdaybut not necessary.  After 5days, carefully rinse off all the salt and sugar, pat dry and it is ready to serve. Use a long, thin blade to slice for the best results.


  • The thicker the fish the better. Take the time to find the best quality fish in your area.
  • The flesh of the fish will turn more vibrant and slightly darker in color as the water leeches out and the days go by. It will also get thick and the texture will change drastically. Don’t freak out, that’s a good (and tasty) thing!
  • How to Serve:  Mr. Carson is correct, it is lovely served on its own with horseradish thinned with sour cream but here are a few of my favorite ways to use in my tea sandwiches: Widgets

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