Crumpets Arnold Bennett

 What a way to start the day!


This isn't the quickest or easiest breakfast, but as Arnold said, "it is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is from the top".


Preparation: 15 - 75 mins Serves: 12 crumpets
Cooking: 15 minutes Cold-buttered crumpets
Ingredients Quantity (metric) Quantity (imperial)
Smoked haddock fillet (undyed, skinned and boned) 300 g 10.6 oz
Milk 275 ml 9.7 floz
Free-range eggs 12 12
Butter 40 g 1.4 oz
Double cream, whipped 50 ml 1.75 floz
Parmesan cheese (grated) 4 tbsp 4 tbsp
Salt and pepper Not too little Not too much
Fresh chives (finely chopped) 2 tbsp 2 tbsp
Bechamel sauce
Milk 275 ml 9.7 floz
Small onion (peeled and finely chopped) 1 1
Butter 1.75 oz 50 g
Plain flour 50 g 1.75 oz
Double cream 50 ml 1.75 floz
Cloves 3 3
Nutmeg (freshly grated) 1 tsp 1 tsp
Salt and pepper Not too little Not too much
Hollandaise sauce
Butter 75 g 2.65 oz
Free-range egg yolk 1 1
Lemon juice 1 tbsp 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper Not too little Not too much


      The Bechamel sauce

      1. Can be purchased from many supermarkets (you need 275 ml or 9.7 floz), but if you have the time and inclination...
      2. Put the milk, onion and cloves in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and leave in the pan for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
      3. In another pan, melt the butter, stir in the flour to make a roux and cook on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
      4. Strain the milk into the roux, whisking vigorously until the sauce is smooth, stir in the nutmeg, then remove from the heat.

      The Hollandaise sauce

      1. Can also be purchased from many supermarkets (you need 75 ml or 2.65 floz), but...
      2. Gently heat the butter in a saucepan, and transfer to a jug once it has melted.
      3. Put the egg yolks into a bowl over gently simmering water, add the lemon, salt and pepper, and whisk together for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
      4. Turn the heat to the lowest level and start to add the butter, whisking in well, until the mixture is smooth.
      5. Remove from the heat.

      The omelettes

      1. We'd suggest splitting the omelette mixture across two large frying pans, or four smaller ones, so please batch accordingly. The omelettes can obviously be done sequentially, if you don't have industrial kitchen facilities.
      2. Poach the haddock in the milk for about 5 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan, allow to cool and break into flakes.
      3. Whisk the eggs, then add half the haddock flakes, salt and pepper.
      4. Put the butter into a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the whisked egg and haddock, stirring constantly for just a couple of minutes until the mixture is lightly set.
      5. Remove the omelette from the heat.
      6. Mix the Bechamel and Hollandaise sauces together, add the remaining haddock flakes and fold in the whipped cream.
      7. Cover the omelette with the sauce, sprinkle on the parmesan and glaze under a hot grill for about a minute.

      The crumpets

      1. Divvy up the omelettes into crumpet size portions, sprinkle on the chives, and serve with something other than French tap water (typhoid from which killed poor old Arnold in 1931).