Dripping with butter and jam, crumpets were the sort of teatime treat we Brits all grew up with and loved. Making individual crumpets can be a hassle, so it’s much more fun to make a giant one to share. Topped with a quick homemade strawberry jam and a dollop of crème fraîche, the crumpet truly is worth rediscovering.
Sift the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda into a bowl. Make a well in the middle, add the yeast, and slowly pour in the warm milk and water mixture. Draw the flour into the center, mixing thoroughly, and beat to a thick batter. (You may need to add up to another ½ cup warm water if the mixture is very thick.) Whisk for a couple of minutes until smooth. Cover with a clean dish towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has almost doubled in size and has a spongy consistency.
Meanwhile, make the jam. Heat the sugar in a frying pan over medium-high heat for 3–4 minutes until caramelized and golden. Turn the heat down and add the strawberries, coating them in the caramel. Cook for about 10 minutes until the strawberries are tender and collapsing slightly and the sauce is nice and syrupy. Add the lemon zest and juice followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Continue to heat for 5–7 minutes until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of jam. Leave to cool.
Heat a very large nonstick frying pan (or use 2 medium pans) over medium heat and add a little oil. Stir the batter and pour into the pan. Cook for 10–15 minutes on low heat to prevent burning until the batter is dry and the surface is set with little holes. Dot a few little pieces of butter around the outside edge of the crumpet, and when it has melted, flip the crumpet over and cook on the other side for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Serve the crumpet with the quick strawberry jam and crème fraîche.
HOW TO MAKE INDIVIDUAL CRUMPETS
If you want to make several small crumpets, drop individual spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and reduce the cooking time to 7–10 minutes before flipping over. You might want to use a greased metal ring or cookie cutter to help hold the mixture and prevent the crumpets from coming out too thin.