Somewhere between pancakes and French toast lies the eggy crumpet. A crispy – almost battered – exterior with a plush, custardy middle and subtle undercurrent of chili heat. The ultimate conjoining of sweet and savoury.
This was one of my go-to student recipes back in the day. It was an absolutely perfect meal to inhale after a day of barely keeping my head propped up in classes and drinking a stomach-churning quantity of dubious coffee. The chilies were a wonderfully inadvisable way of keeping my already sensitive stomach on its toes while the crispiness of the crumpets satisfied my early-twenties need to consume at least one fried food group per day. I was relieved to find that after years of not making this dish, it settled back into my so-called adult life as though it had never left.
Although my experience with these crumpets is mostly from a desperation-dinner perspective, I feel confident in stating that they would probably do the trick as a hangover cure as well. Fried + eggs + spice nearly always improves the state of a hangover at the very least. Plus these are simple enough to be made from a state of awareness that sits somewhere between comatose and coherent, so perfect Saturday morning kind of situation. Or Tuesday night. Or always.
Ever-so-slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver (Jamie At Home)
8 rashers thick-cut bacon
4 large eggs
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Thai red chiles (can add/subtract chilies as desired – I find that 2 gives a mellow medium heat)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided + more for serving
Maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set a cooling rack inside a large baking sheet. Lay the bacon strips across the cooling rack, perpendicular to the slats. Cook the bacon for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through. You may need to leave the bacon for slightly longer if you like it crispier or if your oven runs cold.
While the bacon cooks, crack the eggs into a large, shallow bowl or dish, and whisk with the salt and pepper (to taste). Slice the red chilies in half, discard most of the seeds, and finely chop. Whisk the chilies into the eggs until well incorporated. Place the crumpets in the egg-chili mixture and push down slightly to let them drink in as much liquid as possible. Let the crumpets soak for 5 minutes. Turn the crumpets, press down lightly, and let them soak for another 5 minutes. Crumpets can start coming apart easily when wet so treat them gently.
Once the bacon is done cooking, transfer the slices to a paper-towel lined baking pan/sheet. Pour off ~ 1 tbsp bacon fat into a medium non-stick pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter. Let the fats begin to foam and bubble. A drop of egg in the pan should immediately start to sizzle violently. Gently place 2 crumpets in the pan and cook until a thick, golden crust has formed on the underside. Carefully flip the crumpets and cook on the other side until equally crispy. Place the cooked crumpets on the bacon rack (or a clean wire rack) to cool. Wipe out the pan and add another 1 tbsp bacon fat and 1 tbsp butter. Heat to bubbling, then fry the remaining crumpets. Serve hot, alongside bacon, with thick pats of butter and lashings of maple syrup.