Maybe I wasn't supposed to make dessert for Christmas eve. What with the ossu bucco and not eating til 9:30, probably a clementine and a glass of water would have sufficed. But there is Christmas day and Boxing day to think about and so dessert has to perform triple duty. I was going to make steamed persimmon pudding, but the persimmons didn't ripen and the recipe takes pains to insist that they Must Be Nearly Over-Ripe. So I decided to copy my sister and make a cranberry upside down cake, but by the 24th all the stores are sold out of all cranberries, fresh and frozen. At this point I am in the jostling, delirious and slightly nerved up crowds of shoppers in the local supermarket and wondering if this is a sign, and I should just not have dessert. How much more clear can the higher power be? Go home, ice your knee, see what Jack Bauer is up to. I think actually that was the voice of id, so I pressed on, pressed past the people wearing antlers and santa hats, even though they are shoppers and don't have to be wearing silly hats. And I decided to make apple walnut cake from Silver Pallet. My sister had written "maje fave" next the recipe so I knew it would be good. I got apples and, light headed and trying to stave off incurable crankiness, assumed I would have everything else. I couldn't have been more wrong. The recipe calls for vegetable oil and I only have olive oil. It calls for whole wheat flour which I threw out in the move. (it had sat untouched in my freezer for several years and thru one previous move.) I called my sister who transferred me to her friend Matthew who happened to be in her kitchen preparing a Beef Wellington. I felt I was in good hands. Apparently you lose some acidity if you substitute butter for oil and you also lose some liquid. We decided I could use a cup and half of butter and a third of a cup of butter milk. Matthew called back to tell me to melt the butter but be sure it was not so hot that it would cook the eggs. I decided that since I was melting the butter I might as well go on and brown it. Then I added half a cup of white flour and half a cup of wheat germ in place of the cup of ww flour.
Other than sticking to the pan and coming out in pieces, it was perfect and perfectly delicious. The cracks didn't matter, better to absorb the apple cider glaze. We had it for Christmas breakfast.