Sunday, March 26, 2006

When the Crumpets shall sound...

Ah yes. The Crumpet. If you're an American like me, you're not really sure what a crumpet is. Is it like an English muffin? Or is it a pancakey type thing? Can it cure my jock itch?

The crumpet, my dears, is a ubiquitous little biscuity thing that serves a manifold of purposes, from tea snack to breakfast bread, and can be relatively easy to manufacture in your own home. But we're not here to make normal crumpets. No sir.


Ladies and gentlemen, the Crumpets of the Damned.

I could transpose these over into metric, but that would be just a little affected, don't you think? Put on some Oasis, lisp like Terry-Thomas ("I ssssssssssay....") and strike up a fag (hopefully it's not Robert Mapplethorpe's corpse), and let's get to work.

3 T. warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. milk
4 T. butter, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. flour
1 egg
2 drops red food coloring

EQUIPMENT: Four tuna cans, with both top and bottom cut off. We call these the "Poor Man's Crumpet Forms", and are also useful in a zillion other ways, so it's best just to have them already to go. Once these cheap little tools enter your life, you'll come up with a ton of ways to use them.

All right. You've got your ingredients, take your water, yeast and suger, mix them up until they're nice and bubbly, which generally takes about 5 minutes. You're watching biology in action, kids, and make sure you pause briefly and introduce yourselves to your latest pets: Yeast. Name them if you like, and perhaps separate a few out to teach to pit fight against other bacteria. I've got a Yeast that's up to Level 45, and I'm about to go to Indigo City to face the trainer there so I can get my Rainbow Badge.

While your yeasty friends are getting bizzay, heat your milk, your butter and your salt in a saucepan over low heat warm (not boiling... are you INSANE?!). Now, prepare to make your peace with God, because if yeast were people, you'd be Hitler. You're going to pour it into the yeast mixture, effectively killing all your newfound, trusted and wholly loyal yeast army in one fell swoop. You're a madman. But such are the consequences of responsibility. The crumpets must be completed, and if Pharoah could crush all those old Jewish women between pyramid blocks, you can do it too.

It's your karmic debt, buddy.

Add 1 cup flour to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. No, don't just beat. There's got to be some serious Pol Pot style torture going on. Meditate on your rage, knowing that your crumpets will turn out deliciously evil. Beat in the egg, add the remaining flour, and mix until smooth. This isn't biscuit dough here. We don't want any floury lumps. Be a man. Drop in your red food coloring for a decadently eviiiiiiiiil deviation from the crumpetty norm.

Now, cover your batter with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. The rotting corpses of your yeast army will produce zillions of little air bubbles, which are vital to a good crumpet. You need bubbles. You must not tolerate the slightest deviation in your quest for bubbliness. Only the finest will do.

Go do something for an hour. Me, I like to masturbate. Nothing like beating my meat while making baked goods, you know. Mmmmmmm. I think I'll go masturbate right now.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We would like to apologize for this digression, but you know that Julia Child did the same damn thing.]

NOW, after washing your hands (hell, maybe it would be kinkier to NOT wash your hands... it's all you, buddy), stir down the batter and let it rest for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt your remaining butter in a saucepan. Brush the bottom of a skillet with it, and get ready to ROCK. Brush the butter into a skillet, and pull out your crumpet dough. Brush your tuna cans on the inside with butter as well, and place in the skillet. Heat your skillet up on medium heat, and then dump about two tablespoons of batter into each one.

Cook your little crumpet pals for about 2 minutes, until the tops are bubbly and the bottoms are a golden brown. Pull the tuna cans off the skillet and pop out the crumpets (here's a chance to use your nifty new silicone oven glove, which I know you have) and lightly brown the bubbly side of the crumpet.

These fellers are best served hot, as they tend to go a bit doorstoppish if allowed to cool. But if they DO cool, no prob, bob, because you just need to microwave them a bit and they're good to go. Crumpets are TERRIFIC for freezing ahead of time, and are one of the few breakfast breads that tolerate the practice well.

Now... you want something fun to put on your EVIL crumpets, and while butter would do, you're in for something so vicious and sinful that Aleister Crowley himself would stand up in his grave and take notice of your aplomb.

You don't want butter... you want Devonshire Cream.

Unfortunately, Devonshire Cream is nigh impossible to get in the States (something about "pasteurization" or some such rubbish... Edsel Ford never drank pasteurized milk, and look how HE turned out). Thankfully, there are ways around this problem, with this Faux Devonshire Cream recipe.

3 ounces Philly cream cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
13 grains of salt (that's right... count them out. It's actually somewhat vital, and has to do with chemistry, but I don't know the complete reason. Just do it.)
1 cup of the heaviest cream you can find.

Mix the cream cheese, the sugar and the salt together, then whip in the cream until it forms the "stiff peaks" you see in a meringue pie. Put it in the refrigerator for an hour and then parcel into those little Gladware sauce cups... make sure you give whatever you can't eat in a day out to your friends, because this stuff doesn't really keep all that well. Your friends should thank you for it, and if they don't, join the Moonies and get some new friends.

Crumpets and Devonshire cream... two great tastes that taste great together. But if you're not into the Devonshire Cream, you can always make the Sinn Fein McMuffin, which involves frying an egg in your little tuna cans (McDonalds' little secret they don't want you to know about), and serving on a crumpet with some ham and American cheese. Crumpets are far superior than English muffins for egg consumption.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crumpets are english muffins, dude. :)

~casey, authority on all things british

3:36 AM  
Blogger marie said...

Hey -- I am giving a shout out to all the people who list themsleves as a writer/cartoonist on the site... there are not many of us... wonder what that means? hummm...

6:21 AM  

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