Grease 2 large baking trays with butter and set aside. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl then stir in the beaten egg, mixed spice and vanilla. Add 50ml of water and begin to knead the mixture with your hands to bring it together, you want a firm dough so if it’s still quite crumbly add a bit more water, 1 tbsp at a time until it comes together in one piece.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and chop up into either 12 or 24 pieces (depending on whether you’re making large or small ones). Put a large pan of water on the hob and bring to the boil. Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape and make into a knot, twist or plait before lowering it into the boiling water. Leave in the water for a few seconds and when it rises to the top scoop out with a slotted spoon, shake off any excess water and put on the prepared tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake the jumbles for 20-25 mins or until golden then leave them to cool on the tray before transferring them to a plate or board. Dust with icing sugar before serving if you like.
Make sure the mixture isn’t too wet otherwise when they expand during boiling they may lose their shape. Also, roll out the strips of dough evenly so there are no weak points in the knots or twists, which could cause them to break apart in the water.
Try flavouring the jumbles with other spices like cinnamon, or adding some orange zest to the mix.