Even the little birdies on my favorite plates love this cake.
Once upon a time, when I was still a little girl, my mom found a kid's cookbook (almost certainly at Goodwill, she loves that place) and gave it to me and my brothers. There were some really easy recipes in there, like ants on a log (I used to think it was a shame to waste good peanut butter and raisins on a grody old piece of celery, but now that I am Grown Up I love the damn things, which is just further proof of my theory that Adults Love Gross Food) and a morning sunrise drink that taught me at a very early age how to whip up a fancy-looking cocktail using "nothing but" "cranberry juice" and "OJ".
Another recipe I remember from that skinny cookbook was the strata. It seemed bizarre to me at the time to make a bunch of ham & cheese sandwiches, stick them in a pan and cover them with raw egg. Now I realize that it probably would have been like eating an oven-baked, savory stuffed french toast and I am sad that I never tried it.
Anyway, the whole point of this was that one spring after getting this cookbook, we decided to try the coffeecake recipe for a Mother's Day breakfast. I'm pretty sure Mom had SOME hand in this, though she tries to give us kids all the credit; not to mention Dad provided the extra push and kitchen assistance we needed to make it a success. Whatever the catalyst, though, that coffeecake was damn good and became an instant tradition.
Mom got a coffeecake every Mother's Day for twenty years. The boys forgot this year and I was too far away to help, as I have been for more than a decade, but I made her one this summer when I went to visit. I used frozen blueberries because we were out of apples and it turned out so well that I only got one little piece before it was all gone.
I baked another one this morning with apples, but you can probably use most any kind of fruit.
Apple Sour Cream Coffeecake
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2 T. butter
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, blend shortening and sugar until fluffy (I use an electric mixer). Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add half the flour mixture and half the sour cream, mix thoroughly. Add the remaining flour and sour cream and repeat. Fold in the apples and pour into a greased 8x8 pan.
For the topping, mix the butter, brown sugar and nuts (you can squish them together with your hands, it's fun) and sprinkle evenly over the cake batter in the pan. Bake the whole mess for 25-30 minutes. It should be done when it's no longer jiggly in the pan, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack (or just on the stovetop if you're lazy like me) for 15-30 minutes before cutting, if you can hold off that long.