A common food pairing in British culture is tea with crumpets. Deciding what to pair with the crumpet can lead to exciting new foods brought together with more traditional ones. The crumpet is related mostly to a pancake and the size of an English muffin. Batter is poured into a ring on the griddle, cooked mostly on one side and flipped once toward completion of the crumpet. This baked good provides an empty landscape to build a multitude of flavours and textures. With a little imagination -- not to mention butter, jam, even chocolate -- the only limit to the possibilities is your preference of toppings.
Typically served with tea, a traditional crumpet is served warm with some butter or jam. Small holes found on the top of the crumpet fill up with the jam and give a little pocket of flavour. Some other plain toppings are cheddar, apple butter, cream cheese, honey or hazelnut-chocolate spread.
Since the crumpet is simply a baked bread item, it can also be used as a crust. Adding tomato sauce, cheese and your favourite toppings transforms the simple crumpet into a quick minipizza. After loading up the crumpet, place it on a baking tray and heat in the oven at 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) until the cheese is bubbly. Try a margherita pizza by adding fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil. Drizzle a little olive oil and seasonings to taste before baking. Also, making a crumpet into a pizza is a good way to use leftovers in a new way.
The versatile crumpet can also be the foundation for a quick dessert course. Having a few crumpets on hand means that you can impress uninvited guests with a tasty dessert. Topping one with fresh fruit and whipped cream makes a light summer dish for dessert. For a more decadent chocolate dessert, try a rocky road crumpet. Add chopped nuts, chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows to a crumpet on a baking tray. Bake at 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) until the chocolate is melted and marshmallows are toasty. Serve with tea, coffee or an after-dinner cocktail for a dish that will please any guest.
Breakfast is the one meal that gets people going, ready to take on the day ahead. There are many ways to add a crumpet to a breakfast, such as a substitute for toast. One way to prepare a crumpet for breakfast is to make it part of the main dish itself. A spinach egg dish gives crumpets the opportunity to become the star of the plate. Start by toasting a crumpet. Wilt some chopped fresh spinach in a pan then place on the crumpet. Add a slice of tomato, a poached egg and a little shredded cheese.This dish would normally be a high end menu item in a fancy restaurant, but you can save the money and impress friends by making it at home.