Crumpets Benedict

Scrumptious, my dear Watson!

Breakfast just got a whole heap more exciting.

Preparation: 10 minutes Serves: 4 crumpets
Cooking: 15 minutes Hot-buttered crumpets
Ingredients Quantity (metric) Quantity (imperial)
Free-range eggs 4 4
White wine vinegar 1 tsp 1 tsp
Thick-cut free-range ham 4 slices 4 slices
Hollandaise sauce
Free-range egg yolks 2 2
Butter 100 g 3.5 oz
Lemon juice 1 tbsp 1 tbsp
French mustard 1 tsp 1 tsp
Salt and pepper Plenty Plenty


    The poached eggs

    1. Get yourself 4 of the freshest eggs you can find (see notes below).
    2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, reduce to a rolling simmer and add the vinegar.
    3. Stir the water round and round to create a whirlpool in the middle of the pan, then crack the egg in the centre. The vortex helps to keep the egg nice and compact. The process is exactly the same if you have an egg poaching pouch. You can do more than one egg at a time, as long as you can keep them in the vortex.
    4. Each egg should take about 3 minutes. They will sit quite comfortably for a short while so get the eggs out of the way before doing the hollandaise.

    Hollandaise sauce

    1. Gently heat the butter in a saucepan, and transfer to a jug when it's melted.
    2. Put the egg yolks into a bowl over gently simmering water, add the lemon, salt and pepper, and whisk together.
    3. Gradually add butter, whisking in well.
    4. People suggest having ice cubes to hand, to whisk into the mixture if it starts to split. 

    The crumpets

    1. Butter the crumpets while hot, lay on the ham, then the egg, then the sauce.        
    2. Await applause.        



Fresh eggs

Thanks to our health and safety overlords, supermarkets in the UK are only allowed to sell eggs that have a red lion stamp, reflecting vaccinations to prevent various unpleasantries. The process of getting this done apparently takes a minimum of a week, meaning that even if you buy the freshest eggs in the shop, it’s been some while since they left the coop. To be honest, poached eggs from the supermarket will be fine, but if you’re aiming for Michelin stars, you might want to get yourself down to a local farm.

Animal husbandry: chickens 

Over several years, there has been masses of publicity in relation to factory farmed hens. As a result, many restaurants and shops proudly proclaim that they only have free range eggs. YET AT THE SAME TIME, they happily use and sell factory farmed chicken meat. WTF is this about? People, please use your famed power to stop this.

Animal husbandry: pigs 

Even more messed up is the fact that people seem to have no idea that pigs are also factory farmed, and that almost all pork sold in the UK is from caged piggies. Everyone has their own moral judgments to make in life, but frankly we think that anyone who perpetuates this deserves boils in their anus.