Wednesday, January 27, 2010
We made it: homemade crumpets with raspberries and lemon
There is something quintessentially English about crumpets. To me, they evoke images of lazy breakfasts in summer, taken at a little table on the terrace overlooking sweeping gardens brimming with the colours and scents of masses of flowers.
Of course, the supermarket variety aren't that glamorous and I'm more likely to eat them in winter slathered with melted butter and honey.
But Jamie Oliver's recipe for homemade cinnamon and lemon crumpets with raspberries and honey in the Dec/Jan issue of delicious magazine sounded heavenly and perfect for a summery morning, especially with berries from our recent berry picking expedition in the Otways.
I've made Bill Granger's homemade crumpets before, which are absolutely divine but a little fiddly, requiring a long proving time for the yeast to activate (not the thing you can whip up for a hungry tummy after a sleep in). The beauty of this Jamie Oliver version is that the yeast requires only 10 minutes and the crumpets can be cooked. The drawback is that they take up to 25 minutes to cook, so you might want to have several fry-pans on the go at once or you will be spending a long time at the stove while everyone else is tucking in! Aside from this minor qualification, these crumpets were delicious - heavier and more bun-like than the supermarket variety but more hearty and delicious because of that - and the honeyed ricotta and raspberries are a perfect combination - all the flavours of summer packed into one small dish.
This recipe is part of the "We Made It" challenge that Suzie from Munch+Nibble and I are giving ourselves: the challenge is to actually use our food magazines rather than just bookmarking them.
Jamie Oliver's homemade cinnamon and lemon crumpets with raspberries and honey
Recipe from December 2009/January 2010 issue of delicious
250g fresh ricotta
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs honey, plus extra to drizzle
3 large handfuls fresh raspberries
Sunflower oil, to grease
500g strong (baker's) flour
1 tsp caster sugar
7g sachet dried instant yeast
A pinch of bicarb soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Place all the crumpet ingredients into a food processor with 2 tsp of salt. Pour in 600ml tepid water. The water needs to be warm enough to activate the yeast but not so hot that it kills it. Blitz all the crumpet ingredients together until you've got a loose batter. Leave to stand for 10 minutes to let the yeast develop. The mixture should be quite wet, just about dropping consistency.
While the yeast develops, make the topping by putting the ricotta, lemon zest and honey into a bowl and beating together until light and fluffy. Place half of the raspberries into another little bowl and mash up with a fork. Fold the mashed raspberries into the ricotta - don't be tempted to over-mix it, as you're looking for a beautiful pink rippled effect.
You may need to cook the crumpets in batches. First, grease the inside of metal crumpet rings (I used egg rings) with some sunflower oil. Place a non-stick fry-pan on medium heat, and put the rings into the pan. When it's nice and hot, spoon some mixture into each ring, to about 1cm deep. Turn the heat to low and leave for 15 minutes to cook through. Check the pan is not getting too hot and burning the bottom of the crumpets. After about 15 minutes - once the bubbles on top have formed into crumpet-like dimples - turn them over, using tongs to lift away the rings. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until cooked right through.
Serve the crumpets with a generous spoonful of ricotta, an extra drizzle of honey and some lovely raspberries.