Mulled Christmas Crumble
If Christmas pudding doesn't rock your boat try this yummy Christmas crumble. The port might sound a touch extravagant but you should be able to find plenty of bottles on special offer and you can make great mulled wine with whatever's left over.
About 50 minutes
About £2.50-£3 a head (if you have to buy the port, about half that if you don't)
1 small jar of cranberry sauce or about 3 large dollops home made cranberry sauce if you feel inspired to make some
3 tbsp Vintage Character or Special Reserve port
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
A fine slice of orange peel
1 500g pack Black Forest Fruits or other frozen red berries
Extra sugar to taste
For the crumble topping
175g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
100g chilled butter from the fridge
60g (about 4 tbsp) unrefined caster sugar
Tip the cranberry sauce in a saucepan, add the port and heat gently until it has melted. Stir in the spice, add the orange peel then tip in the frozen fruit, bring to the boil, stir then set aside to infuse.
Sift the flour and cinnamon or mixed spiced together into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and tip into the flour. Keep cutting until you can’t get the pieces of butter any smaller then rub the butter and flour together with the tips of your fingers, lifting it up and letting it fall back again into the bowl until the mixture is the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and carry on rubbing for another minute. (You can do this in seconds in a food processor)
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Remove the orange rind from the berries and check them for sweetness, adding more sugar if you think they need it. Tip them into a lightly buttered or oiled baking dish. Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit making sure you cover the whole surface then bake for about 35-40 minutes till the crumble is brown and the fruit juices bubbling round the sides of the dish. Serve with vanilla ice cream or cream.
* If you wanted to bulk up the filling you could add a peeled, finely sliced Bramley apple to the fruit.