I had never had a crumpet until I made these. For me, and it may be because I am American, I always considered tea and scones the basic components of an afternoon tea. Of course, I am considering a proper British tea.
In an earlier post about scones, I wrote they are quintessential to a British tea. Soon afterward, I was reading At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey. Lady Carnarvon had written that tea and crumpets are quintessential to a British tea. Well, she would know better than I!
Upon reading that tidbit, I grabbed a cookbook and my crumpet rings and set to work! If you are a newcomer to crumpets, like me, they look like English muffins but taste like pancakes. They are made with yeast, and the dough sits to rise for about an hour before putting it on the griddle to cook. They are made in little rings so they keep a circular shape. Add a bit of butter and jam to a warm crumpet, and you are in Heaven!
It is strange that crumpets have not been served at any American or British tea I have attended. Scones are always served, but crumpets have been omitted. Have the British tea rooms Americanized their offering, or maybe scones are easier to prepare in advance?
So for our third adventure in tea, my husband and I enjoyed some warm crumpets, with sweet butter and strawberry and rhubarb jam, and a pot of hot Queen’s Blend tea. This kept the cold, dreary day at bay!