Cranberry crisp with toffee bourbon sauce

by Celia Brooks

A north American-inspired alternative to Christmas pudding

It’s not Christmas in America without cranberries! Cranberries are usually present on the Thanksgiving table in the form of a sauce for turkey, so here they make a yuletide appearance in a different costume as a scrumptious and easy dessert. A great alternative to Christmas pudding.


For the crisp:
500g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
200g caster sugar
150g pecans, chopped
1 egg, beaten
60g plain flour
75g salted butter, melted
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
3 tbsp demerara sugar

For the sauce:
180g dark brown sugar
120g salted butter
120ml double cream
3 tbsp bourbon or whiskey


Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the cranberries and drain well. Butter a large pie plate or casserole dish that you can bring to the table. Place the cranberries in the dish. Sprinkle with half the caster sugar and pecans and mix well.

In a bowl, beat the remaining caster sugar with the egg until well mixed. Add the flour, melted butter and cardamom. Mix well and pour evenly over the cranberries. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the top. Bake for 35-40 mins.

To make the sauce, place sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Stir together over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is bubbling. Take off the heat and stir in the bourbon.

Serve the cranberry crisp warm, spooned onto serving plates as you would a crumble, and top with warm toffee bourbon sauce.

Recipe: Celia Brooks