Food Anchovy crumpets

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Thom Blach, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. This delicacy is relatively often found in literature but almost never in recipe books. It accompanies the mid-afternoon glass of champagne or tankard of mulled ale admirably.
    In my view it is best to use Geo Watkins Anchovy sauce, the superior Burgess essence having been sadly discontinued and actual anchovies in salt or oil being for some reason entirely unsatisfactory. I use about a tablespoon per 50g of softened unsalted butter, a pinch of ground mace and the same of cayenne pepper/chilli powder(the white kind if one is lucky enough to have this useful condiment in the house) and mix it all together with some finely scissored chives if they are still growing in the garden. I also add a few drops of truffle oil, this being one of the very few satisfactory destinations for a substance of which it is hard to approve, but I certainly wouldn't buy it in specially. Apply liberally to toasted crumpets. Commercial crumpets are always good, which is very pleasing indeed.
     
  2. I think you would like Scotch woodcock. (Think Welsh rarebit but with anchovy)
     
  3. It is a dish of scrambled eggs with anchovy on toast, is it not?
     
  4. What to drink with it though?

    Sercial?

    Islay?

    Pepsi?
     
  5. Funny how even the most commercial of commercial crumpets can be good, when so many other commercial bakery things aren't.

    Warburtons are, of course, the most readily available, and reliable, although a little ordinary, and personally I would only buy them if they were on offer, as they often are, around 60p-70p a pack. Anything thinner than Warburtons - that is those often to be found in the discounters and supermarket "value" ranges - should be dismissed out of hand. Looking at some, they are barely more than pikelets.

    M&S and Waitrose crumpets seem slightly superior to Warburtons, but a definite step up are M&S 5 Grain crumpets, which are worth seeking out.

    Harder to find (though in most Booths stores) are the various crumpets from the specialist crumpet producers, Lakeland Bake. They are more pillowy and more substantial than other commercial crumpets. Their large square crumpets are ideal for toasters, and the slightly healthier appetite.

    But the nec plus ultra of commercial crumpetry is the lesser spotted Greenhalgh's crumpet. These are so deep that they only come 4 per pack, not the usual 6. I believe they are available online, but having crumpets delivered by post is a step too far (for me, anyway), and the only reliable source I have found is the Barton Grange garden centre food hall on the A6 at Bilsborrow between Preston and Garstang. Even Greenhalgh's own shops, should you happen to find one, cannot in my experience be relied upon to have their crumpets, at least not in the afternoon, which is the only time I've been able to get to a Greenhalgh's shop.
     
  6. Andrew, that is what I call proper research.
     
  7. A lifetime's dedication to crumpetry.

    Of course, the correct pairing with the most appropriate butter is a whole other matter.
     
    Paul Anderson and Jeremy Caan like this.
  8. Plus the correct level of toasting to apply.

    Of course no discourse about crumpet could be complete without a slight thread drift into what constitutes the perfect muffin.
     
  9. I came to wine-pages a long time ago for the wine, but it is phrases like this that have meant i have stayed.
     
  10. Crumpets should be buttered twice: once to melt into the holes, then once after it has cooled slightly to sit on top.

    The anchovy stuff sounds great though, ideal with Manzanilla/Fino I should think. Or really good Vinho Verde, which is superb with all things anchovy.
     
  11. In the early 19th century physicians recommended crumpets as the most wholesome of breads because they can absorb the most butter. I remember laughing at that when I first read Mrs. David's 'English Bread and Yeast Cookery' some thirty five years ago, but medical advice seems more or less to have come full circle and it seems perfectly reasonable now.
     
  12. I suppose this delicacy inhabits the same sort of space as that other autumnal standby, buttered toast with Gentleman's Relish. I wonder if the latter could also be pressed into service in the service of anchovy crumpets?
     
  13. Certainly it could, Ian, and it is not impossible that the anchovy crumpet of literature uses exactly that. I lifted the mace and cayenne seasoning from that splendid lotion, which however I find a bit bready.
     
  14. This physician once carried out pioneering work into the gustatory benefits of crumpets with butter, taramasalata, pesto and cheddar.

    The experiment was made boldly but the results were not to be greatly commended. Although perhaps truffle oil and afternoon Champagne might have helped.
     
  15. Physician steel thyself?
     
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  16. Verily I say unto you, Jeremy, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth. Crumpets and taramasalata can go together.
     
    Jeremy Caan likes this.
  17. As much as crumpet can pass through the eye of a needle.
     
  18. I am the toasted goods product of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger.
     
    Andrew Stevenson and Jeremy Caan like this.
  19. Woodcock toast. Book recommended.
     

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  20. Ian mentions "buttered toast with Gentleman's Relish". I am fond of GR but not overly so. May my lack of enthusiasm stem from my custom of spreading it directly on hot toast, without buttering first? I can just see that the butter/relish combo would be less harsh, less saline. I will try tomorrow!
     
  21. Splendid, James - let us know. In my opinion the butter is part of the whole, as per Thom's crumpet variant.
     
  22. Thom, I just made a version of this recipe and it was glorious.

    Instead of anchovy sauce, I used "colatura di alici" - Neapolitan anchovy dripping - mixed in with the butter. Difficult to amalgamate thoroughly, but absolutely delicious nevertheless, and a great way to start the day. Thanks for the inspiration!
     
    Thom Blach likes this.
  23. Gentleman’s Relish goes well on toast with Parmesan Custards. Just ask Rowley Leigh. Butter on the outside of the toasts only mind!
     
  24. The man will go to incredible lengths to get his crumpet.
     
  25. Ah, crumpet, muffin (no, not the American version), pikelet and what constitutes each? This one could run and run! ;)
     

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