Ravneet Gill’s brandy custard accompanies her mincemeat crumble recipe

Hearty oats and slightly tart baked apple give this seasonal crumble a fresh twist.
If you love mince pies, this is the perfect dessert for Christmas. The chopped apple adds a delightful tang to the dried fruit, while the crumble provides a wonderful texture. If you don’t feel like making custard from scratch, simply add a splash of brandy to store-bought custard. Just make sure to fully cover the filling with the topping; otherwise, the mincemeat will caramelize quickly and become jammy.
I recommend using mincemeat with suet to help bind the base, but if needed, you can replace it with vegetarian suet, which is readily available in supermarkets.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4
– 220g mincemeat
– 180g Bramley apples, peeled and cut into 1¼cm cubes
– Juice of 1 large orange
– 65g jumbo oats
– 60g plain flour
– A generous pinch of salt
– 90g unsalted butter, cubed
– 70g caster sugar
For the brandy custard:
– 250ml whole milk
– 250ml double cream
– 60g caster sugar
– 5 egg yolks
– A pinch of salt
– 15ml brandy
– Zest of 1 orange
1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5 and butter a 20-25cm baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mincemeat, chopped apples, and orange juice. Mix well, then spread the mixture evenly in the base of the dish.
3. In another bowl, mix the oats, flour, and salt. Rub in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar.
4. Spread the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit filling in the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
5. While the crumble is baking, make the custard. Put the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat on low to medium until warm, but not boiling. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and salt until well combined. Gradually pour the warm cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Return the custard base to the pan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to overheat, as the custard might curdle.
6. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the brandy and orange zest. Serve with the warm mincemeat crumble. Merry Christmas!

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