Mulled wine (serves 10 easily!)
- 2 x bottles of red wine (I tend to just use French table wine AKA 'plonk!')
- 500ml orange juice
- 60g Demerara sugar
- 1 x cinnamon stick
- 4 x large oranges
- A handful of cloves
- Grated nutmeg
- Dash of brandy
How to make it:
1. This is so easy! All you need to do is half the oranges and then spike them with as many cloves as you feel like – generally 1 or 2 per segment.
2. Put everything except the nutmeg into a non-stick pan and slowly bring to a simmer – it's really important not to boil this as you don’t want to lose the flavour.
3. After it's been simmering for about 20 minutes, bring the heat down to the lowest it can go and keep warm as long as you need to.
4. Add the grated nutmeg onto each cup you pour it into…delicious and the house smells divine as your guests arrive!
My vanilla and almond biscuity apple and mincemeat crumble
- Prep time: 20 mins
- Cooking time: 30 mins on 220C (Gas Mark 7)
- Serves: 6 generous portions
- 10 x apples (I use Granny Smith not Bramleys)
- 6 tablespoons of mincemeat
- 300g salted butter (easier if soft)
- 350g plain flour
- 300g Demerara sugar
- A couple of teaspoons of cinnamon
- Some dashes of vanilla extract
- A few dashes of almond extract
(I have to say I never cook using scales so the measurements are an estimate!)
How to make it:
1. Core the apples and cut them into small pieces (I normally quarter and quarter again). Place these into a baking dish and then dollop in the mincemeat trying to spread it evenly amongst the apples. Sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon.
2. Use your fingertips (or a food processor if you have one) to combine the flour, sugar and butter. Don’t go for too long because you want the crumble to be quite chunky with big bits of buttery, sugary lumps.
3. Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla and almond.
4. Time to taste the crumble! This is where I add anything else I think is necessary – normally more sugar or vanilla!
5. Sprinkle the crumble over the apples. The crumble should be lovely and thick and the end result is biscuity and crunchy. Finally, sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on the top.
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven (200C) until the top is a light golden brown. Test the apples are cooked by placing a knife into the centre. Try not to over-cook as the crumble needs to be slightly doughie on the inside!
7. If you can wait for it to cool, you've got more patience than me! I normally dive in within five minutes of it coming out of the oven! I like to serve it with a good vanilla ice cream.