What is it about crumpets that makes them so endearing? For the longest time these stodgy stepsisters of the elegant English muffin were hard to find, even unavailable in many American markets. Perhaps the food marketers theorized, “Why bother, we have English muffins, don’t we?”
|Crumpets from TastyDays.com|
Crumpets’ air of mystery could come from the special props required to make them. As with the luminous pan for the lofty kugelhopf, or the shell-shaped molds for classic madeleines, special metal rings hold the batter/dough in place on a griddle until crumpets are set and firm enough to cook on their own.
I toted a set of rings around for years and finally sold them at a yard sale – in their original box. Truth be told, I was more than a little intimidated by the cooking process.
My fears were quelled recently when the cheeky video, “The Great British Crumpet” from Titli’s Busy Kitchen, popped up on YouTube. In her version, Titli manages to de-mystify the formidable art of British crumpet making.
It looks like fun, I mused, but what about the rings? In my pantry, I eyed two cans of tuna fish and sensed I had a close enough match. Why did I need six anyway? Titli gets by quite nicely with only two rings.
Forewarned: the tuna cans did not work. Bumblebee has re-engineered their cans with a curved bottom edge, making them far too difficult to cut open with a manual can-opener. Fortunately, Dole pineapple has not seen the need to do so. I moved on―with one ring.
The batter-like dough came together in a bubbly gooey mass and filled the ring mold, just like Titli’s. That’s where the similarities ended. Even with adjustments to burner heat, the interior of the crumpets lacked their characteristic large holes and remained soggy when sliced.
Of course, that didn’t stop me; I finished the cooking process in the microwave. While steaming hot, I slathered a slightly shrunken version with butter, and proceeded to burn the roof of my mouth devouring it―but ready to test the next. One ring worked well with this method. Unfortunately, my rhythm did not allow time to document my findings.
From Titli’s Busy Kitchen
1 cup warm milk