Welsh rarebit on homemade crumpets

Preparation time
30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Makes 8–10

By Richard Bainbridge
From Saturday Kitchen


For the crumpets

  • 400ml/14fl oz full-fat milk
  • 1 tsp dried fast-action yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 8–10 knobs salted butter

For the Welsh rarebit topping

  • 50g/1¾oz salted butter
  • 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  • 250ml/9fl oz IPA beer, warmed
  • 250g/9oz mature cheddar, grated
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spiced cranberry chutney

  • 250g/9oz frozen cranberries
  • 100ml/3½fl oz cranberry juice or ginger beer
  • 80g/3oz red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml/3½fl oz cider vinegar
  • 100g/3½oz light brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 70ml/2½fl oz Armagnac

For the Brussels sprout slaw

  • 250g Brussels sprouts, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juice only

To serve

  • chopped fresh thyme, parsley or chives
  • salad leaves


  1. To make the dough, warm the milk in a small saucepan to about 37C. Mix the yeast, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and flour together in a bowl and stir in the milk until it forms a loose batter consistency. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes until doubled in size and bubbles form on top.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Welsh rarebit topping. Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the flour and cook for approximately 2 minutes until it changes to a golden sand colour. Pour in the beer slowly and stir until it forms a smooth and thick custard consistency. Add the grated cheese and mix until it is incorporated. Stir in the mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool slightly and then place in a piping bag, or you can leave it in a bowl. Leave to cool in the fridge.

  3. To make the cranberry chutney, combine all the ingredients except for the Armagnac in a saucepan, bring to a boil then cook at a simmer until the mixture has the texture of jam. Remove from the heat, stir in the Armagnac and allow to cool. Season with salt and pepper. You can make this chutney 2 weeks in advance, and it will keep in a sealed jar for 3 months or more.

  4. To make the sprout slaw, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

  5. Place 5cm/2in metal crumpet rings in a frying pan over a medium heat and then add a little vegetable oil to each ring in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of crumpet dough to each ring, turn down the heat and cook for 4–5 minutes. Add a knob of salted butter to the top of the crumpets. Let the butter foam and wait for bubbles to form on top of the crumpets, then remove the pan from the heat and carefully ease the metal rings off. Remember that the crumpet rings will be hot!

  6. Preheat the grill to the hottest setting. Spread some of the cranberry chutney on top of the crumpets and top with some of the slaw. Pipe (or spoon) some of the Welsh rarebit mixture onto the top of each crumpet, then put the crumpets under the hot grill so the rarebit topping starts to bubble and glaze. Repeat this for all the crumpets and serve with the cranberry chutney, Brussels sprout slaw and fresh herbs.

scroll to top