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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Perking up a grey Sunday morning

Crumpets the Delia way - recipe here
Hello, hello.

You may be wondering why on earth you'd bother making your own crumpets. Every food shop has them, and, once covered in melted cheese, or butter and jam, a crumpet is a crumpet, right? Only people with way too much time on their hands, living in a bubble of ignorance about the convenience of supermarket shopping would do a thing like that, surely.

Wrong.

Crumpets were a regular feature of my childhood. As I remember it, we had them most Sunday tea times, and I loved them. Now, my children love them too. In fact, they are a pretty good baby food for Charlotte at the moment, as they don't crumble everywhere, they are not too sweet, and they keep her quiet for ten minutes while she is waiting for dinner to be ready.

I'd always assumed crumpets would be difficult to make at home, and so had never bothered trying. And then, on a wet bank holiday weekend (we get loads of those, don't we?!), we decided we'd all try our hands at a load of things we'd never cooked before. We turned to the Bible (aka Delia Smith's Complete Illustrated Cookery Course) for inspiration, and so started the era of the home made crumpet in our household. They have become a pretty regular feature of Sunday mornings around here.


I promise you will not be disappointed. They are extremely yummy! And, by the way, Delia is a National Treasure, obviously. This book is responsible for Yorkshire Puddings and Crispy Roast Potatoes turning out the way we want them every time, along with loads of other staples.


Back to the crumpets.

The beauty of them is that, although they have yeast in them, and therefore need to be left for the yeast to do whatever it is yeast does for about 45 minutes, the actual process of mixing crumpets is child's play. No kneading, just `wake up the yeast' in warm water and sugar and leave for a few minutes, then dump a load of strong bread flour and a bit of salt in and whisk into a batter and leave it while you go off back to bed with a cup of tea.

(If only that last bit were true. Perhaps it might be true in some households... the ones without young children, that is. Still, maybe if you're feeling generous, you could let your other half stay in bed, in the hope the favour will one day be returned.)

You'll need is some metal poached egg rings for the batter to go in while the crumpets cook. We got our for a couple of pounds in Wilkos. Oh, and the more generous you are with the butter in the cooking process, the better the results.

We make a double batch - they all get eaten!

You'll often hear celebrity chefs praising Delia, and stating that part of her greatness is that she teaches you how to cook every day foods and that every recipe of hers works. I agree.

I learnt this the hard way (again) this morning. Thinking I would be clever, and use up the remaining strawberries from a PYO session with the girls earlier in the week (the word locusts comes to mind, hence the excess), I tried making jam. If you're looking for Perfect Home Made Strawberry jam, I am sure Delia's recipe will see you right. If you're after that lesser know delicacy, Burnt Strawberry Syrup, then just miss out the advice about adding a couple of lemons (didn't have any in the cupboard) and forget to turn the heat down after whatever time Delia instructs you to.

Crumpets with Burnt Strawberry Syrup
My next new to me Delia recipe is going to be her Squidgy Chocolate Roll. I was watching a TV programme about Delia through the decades, and was completely ignorant of this classic pudding. My other half scoffed at me when I said I'd never made it. (I don't know why this is a surprise to him, and, unless he has been secretly cooking/eating them over the decade we've known each other, it's not as though he has made them at all recently, even if he claims they were a regular feature of his baking youth.) So, given it looks totally yummy (well, the one Delia made on TV looked totally yummy), and is flour less, I plan to make it soon. I've got a couple of friends who have both recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease, and end up missing out on loads of foodie treats because of it, so I may see if they liked to be my guinea pigs!

3 comments:

  1. Bow down to Delia, my wedding present copy is still going strong 26 years later, and is my number 1 cook book by far.....our go to breakfast/tea treat being Scotch pancakes....must try crumpets. Had a chuckle at the jam, Delia is soooo annoyingly perfect too!!

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    1. Yes I love her. And although it is annoying she is right every time (I knew the jam wouldn't work without the lemon if Delia said it needed it) she is the best. I could chuck out all other cookbooks and survive quite happily with just Delia. Enjoy the crumpets!

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