Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Mess of Apple Coffee Cake Tatin

The real problem was that I didn't have anything to snack on that went with my tea. See, I found this maple-y, lemony tea that's delicious any time of day, only sort of naked without a munchy counterpart. I should have stuck with cookies. But what did I have? Apples. Still. A glut of lovely, crunchy, farm-fresh apples. I thought of coffee cake. I thought of tatin. I thought of marrying the two in a gooey, soft, rich concoction that I could eat throughout the day without too, too much guilt. It was a fabulous idea that went wrong right at the end.

I arranged fat apple wedges, doused in lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar, into a parchment lined pie pan over 2 tablespoons of cut up butter pieces. Over that I spooned a thick, vanilla-flavored sour cream batter and then some walnuts, er. . . wait! Here's where things went wrong. In the freezer I had a small tupperware of what I thought was leftover muffin crumb topping — you know, flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter. I make a batch and then freeze the rest because it keeps forever. Unfortunately, this particular batch was unlabelled and I sprinkled it liberally everywhere, thinking the topping would add a nice crunch to the cake and it would be funny that the top was the bottom. Ha ha I'm so clever. Joke's on me. The 'topping' was actually almond croissant filling, a grind of thick almonds with almond flavoring and sugar. Much as I tried to scoop off the big chunks, it was too late. The heavy, frozen pieces sunk deep into the batter.

Oy vey. What to do. I baked it up until it got all golden and caramel at the edges, just as I expected it would. When flipped, the apples were deeply colored and cinnamon wafted through the kitchen. The whole thing looked amazing, but smelled a bit confusing. Almonds, vanilla, apples, cinnamon, it all sounds okay. George thought it was fine, good, even. So whether I was just upset over the mistake and exaggerating it, I swear I could still taste an odd cherry flavor in my apple mess. Deeply unsettling. When I get up the nerve, I'll try this one again. She has promise.

We'll try 'er again without the mixup, because, honestly, it still looked great.

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