Downton Abbey and Crumpets

Late to the phaaaaahty on this one but how awesome is Downton Abbey? I am only halfway through the first season but already I’m hooked. What better to go with Downton Abbey than crumpets and lemon curd? Perfect time of year for lemon curd. Citrus is still in season and if you’re on the east coast, you’ve had a little taste of spring and probably want more.

Crumpets

via Epicurious.com

3 cups plain white flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 3/4 cups of warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp of sugar or honey
2 TBS powdered milk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 TBS of warm water

Combine yeast, sugar and one cup of warm water into a mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for about ten minutes. During this time the liquid should develop a foamy head, showing that the yeast is active.

Sift flour, milk and salt into another bowl, and mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour; add the yeasty water and the rest of the warm water.

Using a wooden spoon, mix to a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap, and stand in a warm place until well risen and bubbly. This will take about an hour. The batter doesn’t rise dramatically, but it does expand somewhat, and the mixture takes on gases, which are necessary in the cooking process.

Combine the bicarbonate of soda and the extra water, and add this mix to the dough. MIX WELL. Then leave this mixture to stand, covered, in a warm place for a further 15 minutes.

Preheat a heavy based fry pan to a low heat such that oils will not burn or smoke

Spray oils also allow you to coat the crumpet rings as you are ready to cook. Place enough mixture into the center of each ring to come almost to the top of the ring. (The dough does rise during cooking, and this should be allowed for in the filling of the ring.) Cook for 4-8 minutes over medium heat, until bubbles appear over the entire surface, and the dough appears ‘dry’.

Remove the ring, turn the crumpet over and cook an additional 30 to 60 seconds to brown the top. Remove from the pan and cool on a cake rack.

If you find that the bottom is too dark (politely referred to as burnt), you are cooking too quickly. Slow it down, relax, and try again. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to make another batch.

Grapefruit Ginger Curd

via 101 Cookbooks  (fantastic blog, gorgeous photos, highly recommend)

1 cup / 240 ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp / soft
1/2 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g granulated sugar OR 1/4 cup / 60 ml honey
2 large egg yolks, preferably room temp
2 large eggs , preferably room temp
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice (made by pressing grated ginger through a strainer)

Simmer the grapefruit juice in a small saucepan, reducing to 1/2 cup / 120 ml. Let it cool a bit.

Cream the butter in a medium stainless steel bowl (note: you’ll use this bowl as a makeshift double-boiler later). Add the sugar and beat until fluffy and light. Add the yolks, and then the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. Stir in the salt, and then gradually add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and ginger juice – working the juice in as you go.

Rinse out the small saucepan you used earlier, and fill 1/3 of the way full with water. Bring to a simmer, and place your stainless steel bowl of curd on top of it. Stir constantly, and heat the curd slowly enough that the sugar (if you used it) has time to dissolve. This step usually takes me about ten minutes. Pull the curd from the heat when it is just thick enough to coat your spoon – my thermometer usually reads ~166F (it will continue to climb a bit off heat, keep that in mind). Your curd will thick substantially as it cools.

There’s no need to strain it, unless you somehow ended up with a few lumps (which you shouldn’t). And it keeps refrigerated for a week, or up to a month in the freezer. I love it warm or cold.

Makes about 2 cups.

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

UPDATE: Tried this recipe with Meyer lemons and it was fantastic.   Next time will have to give it a try with bomboloni.

Countdown to Season 3. And now there are cocktails! Tune in this Sunday.

4 Responses to “Downton Abbey and Crumpets”

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