I have a thing for cookbooks. Some I cook from and others (for reasons I haven't really explored), I don't. It's not that I'm discriminative about to dotting little coloured tabs throughout them, but when it comes to the actual cooking from - I'm very much guilty of playing favourites. After admiring their accompanying photo *many times*, I recently cooked Diana Henry's 'pork chops with mustard & capers', we ate them with mesclun salad simply dressed with a classic vinaigrette. For dessert there was apple and blackberry crumble and vanilla bean custard. The meal felt effortless, with barely any preparation required and very little chance of anything going wrong. No more or less thought went into this than any other average Sunday night meal, but as we ate it I thought how utterly comforting it was to cook and eat this way (the fact that the pork comes from a book titled 'Simple' is not lost on me); and it occurred to me that if I were suddenly thrown back into the dating game - this is the first meal I would want to cook, or have cooked for me. And then, as though reading my mind hubby asked whether we could have the same meal again this Sunday, so here we are.
I can't imagine anyone not liking a crumble: seasonal fruit baked under a blanket of crisp, buttery topping - nourishing and comfortingly familiar. The topping can be easily adapted to be gluten and or dairy free, and the filling possibilities are endless (think rhubarb and strawberry, apricot and almond, plum and vanilla). It's so simple that even the most reluctant cook appears to have been born under the kitchen table, i.e. happy and relaxed, and it can (and possibly should) be made in advance -- and for that matter almost with one's eyes closed. What could be better! Read More