A Touch of Spice for a Winter’s Chill

Hot Water Bottle

Once again a cold snap has descended and I’ve become surgically attached to my hot water bottle of an evening. Anything that offers warmth and cosiness I want to have around me right now: freshly laundered blankets; bowls of hot porridge; thick woollen scarfs. It’s forecast to get even colder with snow on its way so I shall continue to cocoon myself. If you see a big wool-wrapped flump walking down the road towards you with just a little pink nose poking out beneath the folds you will know it’s me.

The winter weather and the nearing of December is putting me in a Christmassy mood and I’m ready to embrace it. I’ll be temporarily finishing work next week and so will have the luxury of having time off to potter and prepare for Christmas. Brace yourselves for lots of festive posts and recipes! This adorable little felt-covered notebook I fell in love and took home will be perfect for jotting down my cooking notes when I’m busy in the kitchen and my nostalgic thoughts when I’m curled up on the sofa; all to be shared with you.

Felt Book

On the Sunday just gone by my need for warmth prompted me to mix ginger with oranges and bury them under a rubble of biscuity crumble. The resulting pudding was a triumph and one that I intend to make several more times before this winter is through. If you’re feeling the cold as I am try it; it will warm your belly and your heart.

Orange and Stem Ginger Crumble

Orange and Stem Ginger Crumble
Serves 4

For the filling
3 large oranges
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 pieces of stem ginger plus 1 tablespoon of the syrup

For the topping
240g plain flour
140g butter
80g caster sugar
2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C

Peel, deseed and segment the oranges and cut each segment in half. Put the orange pieces into a into a 22cm round or square, 8 cm deep ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Finely chop the pieces of stem ginger and add them to the oranges along with the syrup. Using spoons carefully toss the orange pieces with the sugar, ginger and syrup.

Put the flour, butter, sugar and ground ginger into a mixing bowl and rub together between your fingers until the mixture takes on the texture of biscuit or cake crumbs.

Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the fruit, covering it entirely. Don’t press down on the topping; keep it loose.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is lightly golden.

Serve with double cream or custard.

Candles in Fireplace



  1. November 29, 2010 / 5:19 pm

    I love oranges! This recipe looks nice. It’s so Christmas-y. 🙂

  2. November 30, 2010 / 7:49 pm

    This sounds like a yummy dessert, and a perfect warming treat for these cold winter nights. I’m definitely going to make this!

  3. December 7, 2010 / 9:38 pm

    It is lovely and Christmassy (and nice and warming too!).

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