Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fresh Apple Bread

Fresh Apple Bread (Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed., pg. 262).

Our poor bedraggled apple tree has a bumper crop of apples this year. Actually, it did last year too but the squirrels and birds got most of them before you could blink an eye. This poor tree, which has never looked that great, stands along the back border of our property, growing tall with long, draping branches that are now weighted down with apples. I pruned the heck of it last year and if it weren't for the fact that it provides a little shade, it would probably have been removed entirely. 

It is earning its keep though and the apples seem to be nicer this year and it has been possible to get some good ones that haven't been touched yet by wildlife. That is saying a lot since our back garden is a virtual Grand Central Station for birds.

There are even unblemished apples lying on the ground although you have to get them quickly.

I have made several apple desserts over the past weeks. I first made an apple cake from my mother's old recipe book. After consulting my Maida Heatter books, I found a recipe that I had not tried yet. This turned okay - I have to confess that the apple cake was tastier! This recipe is filled with some spice but is surprisingly mild on the apple flavor.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 large apple or 2 small ones
4 oz. butter (softened)
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS. light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 TBS. buttermilk or sour cream
Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x5x1 inch loaf pan and dust it with fine bread crumbs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.

Beat the butter until soft and gradually add the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk (or sour cream - I used buttermilk) and then the diced apple.

On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the lemon rind and the walnuts.

The mixture will be thick. Transfer it to the prepared loaf pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing it.

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