Crum­pets with pot­ted shrimps

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FOOD DRINK -

125g but­ter, plus a lit­tle ex­tra if needed

300g cooked shrimps or prawns Nut­meg for grat­ing, or a pinch of mace

Pinch or two of cayenne pep­per

METHOD

Warm the but­ter in a pan un­til it has just melted. Add the shrimps or prawns and grate over a lit­tle nut­meg (or add a pinch of mace). Add a pinch or two of cayenne pep­per and a good pinch of salt. Di­vide the shrimps evenly be­tween four or six ramekins then cover with any but­ter left in the pan, melting more if needed. Put the ramekins in the fridge to set.

To make the crum­pets, add the flour and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix briefly to com­bine.

Heat the milk in a pan un­til warm to the touch, then add the sugar and stir to dis­solve. With the mixer run­ning at medium, grad­u­ally pour the milk into the flour, mix­ing un­til an even bat­ter forms. Cover the mix­ing bowl with a cloth and leave to rise for about 30 min­utes.

Mix the warm wa­ter with the bi­car­bon­ate of soda and pour this over the bat­ter, mix­ing it gen­tly. Add a good pinch of salt. The tex­ture needs to be like pan­cake bat­ter – thick but not too gloopy. Leave for 20 min­utes to rest again, with a cover over the bowl.

If you have a grid­dle or grid­dle pan, now is the time to use it. Al­ter­na­tively, use a large non-stick fry­ing pan to cook the crum­pets.

Grease a few eight-10cm­di­am­e­ter metal rings with oil, and grease the sur­face of the pan (I use a bit of kitchen pa­per with oil on it). Set the rings in the pan over a medium heat. Pour just over a ta­ble­spoon­ful of the mix­ture into each ring (it needs a bit of space in the ring to rise).

Af­ter four to five min­utes the crum­pets should look like they are start­ing to set – you ide­ally want the bub­bles on top to start to pop. Flip the crum­pets care­fully to lightly cook on the other side – af­ter an­other two to three min­utes they should be set.

Use a small knife to check they are cooked through, then turn them out on to plates.

Turn the pot­ted shrimps or prawns out on to the warm crum­pets (you can set the ramekins in a tray of hot wa­ter to help re­lease them more eas­ily).

Serve with a scat­ter­ing of shred­ded tar­ragon or pars­ley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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