I baked a cake last night, a Speculoos butter loaf with a dash of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
I topped it with crumble topping leftover from a strawberry crumble I made over the weekend.
I sensed it was going to be a fine cake, indeed…
When it finished baking, I took it out of the oven, tipped it slightly over a rack and tapped the bottom of the baking pan gently to release the cake, except the cake broke into pieces as it hit the rack, and the middle crumbled.
Staring at the broken pieces of cake made me inexplicably sad; I’m talking deep overwhelming sadness.
I spent the rest of evening wallowing, and trying to figure out why I’d reacted that way, I suspect the cake disaster was just a catalyst for some issues I haven’t been dealing with.
Baking is cathartic process for me, the gathering of ingredients, prepping, mixing and kneading and waiting for the ping of the oven.
I came home this evening, and our annual shipment of Envy apples and kiwis had arrived from New Zealand.
I decided to make morello cherry pie with pistachio crumble, a combination of sour cherries and apple.
I’ve made this crumble so many times, I could probably make it in my sleep.
On grey rainy evenings like this, it’s quiet in my small kitchen as a gentle breeze blows through; it’s also a moment to myself as I work away.
I don’t bother with measurements for this crumble; I grab a pie dish and enough piecrust for the bottom.
I make the filling by tossing cherries and apples with sugar and a bit of lemon and cornstarch in a mixing bowl, and pile it onto the crust.
The topping is easy and a little different every time, I use ground pistachios, coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, whole-wheat flour, sugar, a tablespoon or two of coconut oil and a pinch of salt.
Other times, topping recipes have included oats, almond meal, and dried fruits and crushed nuts.
I take a reading break whilst the crumble bakes for about 40 – 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
By the time the crumble came out of the oven this evening, I’d regained my sense of calm.