Love Me or Hate Me

Pie and their offsprings are as personal to those in Pennsylvania as Whoopie Pies are to us here in New England. The last thing I want to do is mess with an original but this PA mainstay was just begging me to do something different with it.  I am all about using your imagination when in the kitchen and this dessert is no different. I took some apples and cranberries, along with a tweak or two as you can see, and made a fantastic moist cake that is still of the Shoofly realm. I think with a bottom layer of baked apples, tart, fresh cranberries throughout and a smidgen of Streusel topping, you will find this a great alteration to the time-honored Shoofly. Let me know what you think.

Fragrant Shoofly Coffee Cake
I highly suggest you don’t skimp on the Streusel topping. If you do, the cranberries will “float” to the top and when baked, they will harden. With the topping, these little red gems stay moist and tart.

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced small
1 1/2 cups whole, fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 cup hot apple cider or juice
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Streusel Topping, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries and 1/2 cup sugar, tossing to coat well. Dump the fruit mixture on the bottom of prepared pan, evenly distributing. In another large bowl, add the molasses, boiling water and hot apple cider, stir to combine. Now slowly add the baking soda, mixing well. It will foam up but this is natural and why you have a larger bowl than needed, to prevent spill-over. Beat in the melted butter and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, remaining 1 cup sugar and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients, in two batches, and combine until blended well. It doesn’t need to be lump free. Pour this batter over the diced apple/cranberry mixture and top with Streusel Topping. Bake 40-45 minutes or until done in the middle and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Streusel Topping
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Mix well until crumbly and slightly wet. Start with 2 tablespoons butter and add a third if needed.