It was the beginning of August.
It was cold; it was wet – very wet – and definitely comfort food weather. We got caught in the rain on the sea path at Newtownards in the morning and nothing was dragging us out the door again.
I decided to try a half-hearted tidy of the big cupboard in my kitchen – the one that holds all my cooking ingredients.
In the interests of honesty, I have to tell you that I found a jar of last year’s Christmas mince-meat almost straight away.
I wasn’t as mortified as I should be; I know that.
All I could think was to
hide the evidence use it up immediately. Mince pies? http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/home-made-christmas-mincemeat/ – No, definitely not. It’s August, for goodness sake!
Mincemeat and Cranberry Roll-ups?http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/cheats-mince-and-cranberry-rolls/ – No, not them either (no ready-made puff pastry). I needed something that looked like it could turn up at virtually any time of year – and so we come to my Mincemeat Crumble Squares..
The World’s Most Disorganised Cook triumphs again..! 😉
- Medium-large bowl, or food processor
- a 20x30cm baking tray, lined with baking parchment
INGREDIENTS: Makes 16 large pieces, or double that in smaller sized portions..
- 300g Self-raising flour
- 175g cold-from-the-fridge butter – cut into cubes.
- 50g light Muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
- The finely grated zest of an orange
- 400g jar of Mincemeat
- Heat the oven to 160 fan.
- Put the flour, butter and mixed spice into the processor and blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Don’t over-process. OR
- Sift the flour and mixed spice together, then rub in the butter (it took me about 5 minutes today)
- Sift in the sugar (all Muscovado sugar gets sticky!) and mix it through evenly
- Mix through the orange zest.
- Put half of the mixture into the prepared tin, shake from side-to-side until it’s fairly evenly spread, then press it down firmly with your fingertips. I tried using a spoon but it didn’t work as well as my fingertips!
- Spread the mincemeat, in spoonfuls evenly over the base, making sure it’s spread into corners etc. See NOTES 1
- Cover the mincemeat with the rest of the crumble mix, and pat it down gently (no more than that).
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Put it into the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up, then cut it into squares, or really, whatever shape you like.
- My mincemeat is quite soft, and was really easy to spread. If you’re using bought mincemeat, I’d suggest that you either heat it a little , or stir it around a little to loosen it up and make it easier to spread. When you’re spreading the mincemeat, it tends to mess up the base a little, so what I do is put spoonfuls onto each area of the base and then just gently push the mincemeat into place. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t ruin the Crumble, but it’s the sort of thing that’s useful to know when you’re making it.
- To put the topping on, I just sprinkled it on with a big spoon, from a height; starting at one end of the tray and then going back to see if there were any sparsely-covered bits.
- I like this served warm (give it 20-30 seconds in the microwave) with a dollop of fresh cream, a scoop of Vanilla Ice-cream, or with Mr Saturday Night’s favourite – Custard!
- I cut my crumble into portion-sized rectangles.