Last week, my sister and I agreed that we would do the good daughterly thing and cook dinner on Mother’s Day. The next evening my Dad came in from work declaring he would cook lamb on Sunday and that we could do ‘the stuff that goes with it’… thanks Dad. So I turned my attention to dessert, flicking through a cookbook for inspiration. Dad soon peered over and suggested I make a crumble. This happens to be his all time favourite dessert (nb: the custard MUST be hot and an argument will ensue if it is anything but steaming, fresh from the hob).
It was decided then. Lamb for main and crumble for dessert. A menu, coincidentally, suited perfectly to my father’s taste.
Fast-forward to 3pm on Sunday. Dad is sitting on the sofa watching the rugby and the lamb is still wrapped up in the fridge. His two bold statements: ‘I want dinner on the table at 6.30pm’ and ‘I will slow roast the lamb’ (generally requiring 4 hours cooking time minimum) weren’t quite working together.
After giving him a nudge, Dad bunged the meat in the oven with not much more than a sprinkle of salt on top and hurried back to the TV. From here on out we took charge. My sister and her boyfriend reclaimed the lamb, rubbing it with lemons and spices and whisking up a pomegranate, molasses and honey sauce. Unaware, Dad came back to check on it an hour or so later, wondering why it looked so different.
Our side dishes could have been a meal in their own right. Spicy roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes, a leafy salad with pomegranate and pine nuts, gooey aubergines with lemon and tahini and fresh green beans with new potatoes. This was all teamed with a generous helping of garlic and a big dollop of cool herby yoghurt. Not quite Ottolenghi’s standard but a pretty good shot if you ask me. Unfortunately, everyone’s hungry appetite meant photos weren’t an option so I can’t prove what a feast this was but hopefully my words suffice.
We wrapped up with my rhubarb, orange and ginger crumble. Alas, cooking after a late night is a risky business and this didn’t quite work out as planned. Rhubarb only needs about 5 minutes to stew and I must have left it for 15 as it turned into soup. For this reason, I’ll leave you to find a good fruit recipe yourself. The topping mixture, a recipe adapted from Honestly Healthy, was tasty but very coconutty and perhaps overwhelmed the rhubarb. Try it in a crumble with other stewed fruits (Natasha uses apple and blackberry) or as a topper for porridge or yoghurt. I’ve been eating leftovers with CoYo for breakfast and after lunch and dinner each day this week. It’s pretty moreish if you like coconut as much as I do.
Serves about 8
5 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. coconut palm sugar
5 tbsp. coconut flour
5 tbsp. rice malt syrup
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl.
If using it to make a crumble, place the mixture on top of your fruit layer and bake at 180oC for 15 minutes or until golden.
If making it as a topper for other things, place on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Store in an airtight container.