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Crumpets aren't just for tea

Crumpets with maple-chorizo syrup

The crumpet, that love child of an English muffin and a scone, is making us swoon.

The British teatime specialty is far from dowdy, particularly in the hands of American chefs. Julian Calcott, the chef at Sunshine Co. in New York, describes it as a "stuff-your-own scone." Crumpets are baked mostly on the griddle, creating crater-like bubbles that resemble the crannies of an English muffin.

Any topping sinks into the light, spongy dough, infusing--or "stuffing," in Calcott's words--the bread with any flavor you choose (particularly gooey condiments like butter or jam). Calcott tops his with a bacon marmalade, born from a moment of kitchen kismet when the language barrier led his Ecuadorian prep cook to dump a jar of apricot jam in bacon fat meant for a pasta dish.

Girl & the Goat in Chicago makes another savory-sweet version with chorizo-maple syrup. At Grahamwich, also in Chicago, the crumpet is smothered in cherries and Brie, and in Miami, an even cheesier take is the rosemary crumpet, fried egg and cheddar sandwich at Michael's Genuine.

Consider it the year's best foreign diplomacy trend.

Make Your Own Crumpets
Make a Bacon Marmalade
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