Kitchen Table Chats
Union Joints’ Tanya Fallon revives a coffee cake memory
Photographs by Joe Vaughn
“As a little girl, I remember my mother always having coffee cake and coffee when we had friends and family over,” says pastry chef Tanya Fallon. “They would sit at the kitchen table for hours and chat with the coffee cake between them. Coffee cake and coffee evoke wonderful memories. I love the combination. For this recipe I’ve added cranberries to brighten up this seasonal favorite.” Fallon’s career has taken her from culinary school in Chicago to such kitchens as Ambria in Chicago, and locally Tribute, Forte, Tallulah, and Cork Wine Bar prior to her current position as executive pastry chef for the Union Joints (Union Woodshop, Clarkston Union, Vinsetta Garage, and Fenton Fire Hall). —Molly Abraham
Cranberry Spiced Streusel Cake (Serves 6)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon each clove and nutmeg
4 ounces (1 stick) cold, cubed butter
3 egg yolks
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine dry ingredients and cut the butter into them until crumbly and no butter is visible. Mix the yolks, sour cream, and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Add the liquid to the dry and mix just until incorporated.
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pectin
1 pound cranberries, washed
Juice of 2 oranges
Whisk the sugar and pectin together. Combine with cranberries in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a boil and add orange juice. Boil for 2 minutes. Chill and let set completely in the fridge.
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup oatmeal
¼ cup chopped pumpkin seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces (1 stick) cold, cubed butter
Mix dry ingredients together. Cut butter into the dry items and mix until crumbly and no butter is visible.
Use cooking spray on a 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into the lined pan. Pour cranberries on top. Top with the streusel and bake approximately 40 minutes at 350 F. Test with a toothpick. It should come out clean and cranberries will be bubbling. Serve at room temperature.
Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.
CENTRAL KITCHEN & BAR /// The first floor space facing Campus Martius in the First National Building has been transformed. The former bank branch is now an appealing restaurant with a dining room and bar done up in soft gray and white under a mix of industrial light fixtures including reclaimed searchlights. The menu offers crowd-pleasing dishes including buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, burgers, and salads, most of which are available at lunch and dinner. The wine list includes about 30 wines by the glass, beer on tap, and of course, craft cocktails. Dennis Archer Jr. and two partners are the proprietors. 660 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-9000. L & D Mon.-Fri., D Sat., L Sun. $16 H
MUDGIE’S DELI /// The artisan deli in a building that dates to the early part of the 20th century has been serving its signature sandwiches, each one of which has a unique name, long before Corktown was cool. Even with added capacity and a patio, seats are almost always filled in search of The O’Leary (pastrami, Swiss, greens) or the Brooklyn (beef brisket, bacon, and beer cheese) on the long list. Soups come in multiples too, often four varieties a day. Greg Mudge and his friendly crew add to the comfort level. 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000. L & D Mon.-Sat., Br. Sun. $10 H
Central Kitchen & Bar: Pickled beets with Gorgonzola, red onion, pine nuts, watercress, and castelvetrano olives, tossed with white balsamic vinaigrette.
Symbol: H Handicap accessible
Notes: Dollar amount is the average entree price