Until only last week our local supermarket had shelves upon shelves of mincemeat leftover from Christmas. Selling at 5p a jar (10p for the posh stuff), it broke my heart to see these unwanted jars week after week. So of course I did my best to give them a good home, and, faced with a cupboard of pity mincemeat, crumble is what I’m doing with it.
The crumble topping itself is worthy of comment. It has a secret ingredient which makes it the crumbliest, crunchiest, crumble you ever did see.
And that ingredient is semolina. Mary Berry suggests it and it’s worth having some in, just for crumbles. It’s imperceptible but perks the whole thing right up. To make the crumble rub together 4oz butter, 5.5oz flour and 2.5oz semolina to fine breadcrumbs, then stir through 4oz sugar, Demerara for extra crunch but any sugar will do (name that musical!).
Peel, core and slice three Bramley apples and place in a baking dish with a tablespoon of sugar. The tartness of the Bramleys is balanced by the mincemeat and topping but you can add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter filling. Spoon over half a jar of mincemeat. Half a jar makes apple and mincemeat crumble, if you want mincemeat and apple, just bung the whole jar in.
Sprinkle over the crumble as evenly as you can, then bake for 40 minutes. Check after 30 and cover it with foil if it’s getting too brown on top. The crumble is cooked when the fruit has softened and broken down completely, (this might take longer than 40 minutes, depending on your oven – stick a knife in to check). Serve with your chosen poison – custard, cream or ice cream, this’ll serve 6 to 8.