Crumpets with potted shrimps
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
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.