There are plenty of things that are hard to find here in Japan. Some of them I miss, some of them I don’t. Crumpets fall in the first category. I love crumpets, dripping with butter and honey or smothered in jam. And although we’ve been in Japan for more than a year, I just hadn’t found the right moment to make these for myself. But as the cold weather sets in and I find myself looking for warm, comforting things, I decided it was time. With a whole afternoon ahead of me, I read through a few recipes* and dusted off the crumpet rings that I had bought specially some time ago.
By the time the batter was ready to hit the pan, my husband was home from work, hungrily watching on as I ladled the mixture into the oiled crumpet rings. I like my crumpets ‘well done’, so I flipped them in the pan to let the tops turn golden brown. I had hoped that this would mean that the crumpets would be thoroughly cooked and easily pop out of their moulds, but I was wrong. They were stuck. I ran a knife around the edge to ‘unstick’ the crumpets, but in doing so, I squashed them a bit, leaving the crumpets a little dense and not as airy as I’d hoped. For the next batch, I tried a little more oil on the rings, but still they stuck. Third time lucky? I lined the ring with a strip of baking paper and voila – the crumpet slid out and the paper peeled right off. We made and ate lots, taking bites out of the stuck/squashed ones and not stopping until we had reached crumpet perfection – hot, crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and generously topped with berry jam.