Tag Archives: sugar

When is a compliment…

Not a compliment? Perhaps when your uncle/boss sees what you’re making for breakfast and says “You should forget law and be a cook.”


I do have to agree that this morning’s breakfast was of higher quality than anything I’ve contributed to the legal field.

After Saturday’s breakfast was necessitated by the massive amounts of Pabst that accompanied the Sox Game 2 win over the LAAAAAAA and consisted of hash browns, mushrooms, eggs and cheese, today’s was necessary to diversify this blog’s portfolio.

I had previously talked up individual baked apple goodies. As I said last post, though, baking is not my strong suit. I find measurements restricting and the oven is a fickle cooking partner. I tossed my reservations aside and Googled Alton Brown’s Individual Peach Upside Down Cakes. I don’t have peaches, though. All I’ve got is my last apple from Ithaca. What to do?


Individual Apple Granola Upside Down Cakes

A quick discussion of blogademic honesty:
This reminds me of the Ship of Theseus but its not my ship, its Alton Brown’s, and its not a ship, but a ramekin full of baked stuff. I changed a lot about this recipe, the milk, amount of butter, the main fruit and the addition of granola. Is it stilljust a variation on Alton Brown’s theme? I have no problem giving him proper credit but it seems like these have departed pretty far from his original recipe. I’ll always err on the side of caution just because I take this seriously, but its something I think about a lot, and yet another reason why I’m still skeptical of baking. Just in case he reads this,


This makes four ramekins or thereabouts with a little extra batter to spill over and make a hot mess.

Oven preheated to 350
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1 crisp, tangy apple. Nothing mealy, it’ll be gross if you do. Sliced thin. You won’t use it all but you can snack on the rest.
2 ounces granola (I used my homemade stuff)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used vegan cane sugar)
1/2 cup cream, or buttermilk, or coconut milk if you’re sassy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep your ramekins! From your three tablespoons, grease your rammies. Butter the sides all the way to the top (these expand!) and give the bottom a quick grease. Take the rest of your butter and melt it. Now sprinkle the bottoms with brown sugar and then do two layers of thinly sliced apples. Divide and sprinkle the granola on top of the apples and set aside.

When you’re baking something like this, essentially a quickbread you have two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet. This description is inaccurate though, because the sugar goes in the wet bowl. All of the real bakers can laugh at this, but this is one of those distinctions that recipes don’t make, assuming that everyone understands.

So your dry bowl is the flour, the powder, the soda and your wet bowl is the sugar, the vanilla and your butter. Whisk the dry stuff together well, then the wet. Combine them and mix completely in as few strokes as possible. Overworking makes for dense cakes. Pour the batter in the ramekins, leaving about 3/4 of an inch at the top.

I put mine in a waterbath because I had the time and I’ve always wanted to use one. That just means I put the ramekins in a big deep dish and fill with water about halway up the rammies. It puts moisture into the air and maintains a a more even temperature. It also slows baking down considerably. According to Baking 9/11 it brings the temperature down almost 100 degrees. So in the waterbath, on 350, these puppies took about 45 minutes to cook. Drink your coffee accordingly.

Baking for breakfast is intimidating but, just like joining a fraternity or sorority, you get out what you put in. In this case I got a ton of sugar and a shit-ton of dishes, which I have to deal with now.

Also, I didn’t mention this earlier, but it was a Shins morning.

The Shins – The Past and Pending