Oh, this year has been a long one, hasn’t it? It’s nearly been a full year since I was back home in the UK and I’m really starting to miss it. Of course I miss my family most of all, but it’s also the little home comforts from my home country that come with any trip there. The chocolate is usually first on my list, but I managed to stock up on a recent trip to the British Shop in Frankfurt, where I also had some delightfully British shop small talk. Teacakes I love but can make them very easily myself, the biggest thing that I can’t get a hold of here and have never made myself are my favourite Marks and Spencer’s crumpets. Oh, how I long for the day Marks and Spencer’s opens a food shop in Frankfurt, but seeing as I won’t be within 500 miles of one any time soon I decided to try and make them myself.
Now I know these might look, and sound, a bit strange to any non-British readers, but these small, savoury griddle cakes are light and airy and are the perfect vehicle to try my homemade butter as the holes make sure it drips down and through the whole crumpet.
I vaguely remember my husband trying to make these a few years ago and having a negative experience, but I couldn’t really remember why. I made the mixture, a Jamie Oliver recipe, and got excited when it started to bubble up – it was all looking very promising! I dutifully greased up my egg rings to cook the batter in, and started heating them in a hot pan.
My memory about the problem crumpets from years ago came flooding back, as I remembered why my husband hadn’t made them again as I attempted to flip the crumpet over – they wouldn’t come out of the bloody ring! They were seriously stuck. I had to get a knife and eventually cut it out. The second problem I had, was they took so long to cook that the bottom was burnt to a crisp. I tried the pan hot at first, and then gradually brought the temperature down, but every single time, without fail, the bottom was black. By this point, my fun crumpet experiment was far from enjoyable any more: the house had was smoky and that burnt smell stuck everywhere. I eventually just started making them all different sizes, purely in an effort to get the whole experience over with.
The end result wasn’t bad – the texture was almost there, I definitely needed more bubbles, but the charred bottom overpowered everything. I’m sure other people have better results with these, but we’ve now got a firm “never make crumpets” policy in our house.