So Halloween is over which only means one thing here in the UK… CHRISTMAS IS NEXT! Christmas is probably my favourite time of the year, and I start prepping in November well in advance because I’m a little sad and I get way too into it. By the time this month is up I will have decided and perfected my recipes for baked good gifting and collated a large pile of wrapping materials, ribbons, gold paper, cute cards, calligraphy pens, dried orange rinds, you name it.
So today’s recipe marks the beginning of my baking spree, taking inspiration from Pret’s recipe for their amazing ‘crimble crumble’ bars. I love mince pies but the faff of making individual ones makes it a time-consuming process and then they usually get stuck in the pans from the sticky mincemeat filling oozing out! So I loved the idea behind these crumble bars, and it’s adaptable enough that you could take out the shortbread and add 4 more apples and make it into a proper homey crumble for a warm pudding on a cold evening.
For the shortbread layer:
150g plain flour
110g cubed butter, room temp (dairy free spread also works)
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
For the mincemeat layer:
350g mincemeat filling
1 large apple, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp rock salt
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of half an orange
For the crumble layer:
50g melted butter/dairy free spread
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
25g brown demerara/turbinado sugar
25g soft brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 190˚C/170˚C Fan/Gas Mark 5
The mincemeat filling is best made ahead of time, to let the ingredients marinate together. Add the mincemeat, orange zest and juice, salt, spices, and apple pieces into an airtight container and leave in the fridge at least overnight, or longer.
For the shortbread, mix the salt, sugar and flour in a bowl. Add in the butter and with your fingertips rub the ingredients together until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency. Press well into a parchment lined square tin and prick all over with a fork before baking for 15-20 mins or until golden brown. Let cool.
To make the crumble, melt the butter and add to the rest of the dry ingredients. With a fork or fingers, crumble the ingredients together until you have a pebbly looking dough. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Drain the mincemeat through a sieve to remove excess liquid and press onto the shortbread layer. Evenly spread the crumble layer on top and bake at the same temperature for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Once cooked, take out of the pan whilst still warm and cut into bars. Let them cool slightly and eat, or wrap in parchment and ribbon and gift to friends!
Feel free to get creative with flavours here, I would love to make these again with a gingerbread base and add honey to crumble in place of 15g of butter!
Until next time, keep baking,
Love Sian xxx