Friday, September 20, 2013

fall apple bread

One of the most beautiful things about the community in which Josh and I have settled is the generosity. Josh mentions that I'd be planting beets if we had a proper garden, and one of the women plants us a row of beets in hers. I admit that I like cucumbers and am given a huge bag of them. I note that I'd love to find some local apples for canning applesauce, and the word spreads so that a call comes in from someone with whom I'd never discussed apples, and she wonders if Josh can stop by to pick up the huge sack of them she got from her neighbor.

Harvest time is overwhelming me with the love.

I'm also overwhelmed with nesting urges. So, faced with the beautiful bag of apples (which far exceeded my expectations of what an apple tree could do in this climate), I spent much of Wednesday processing them. I didn't have a proper canner, and I realized a bit late that I couldn't use the quart jars I'd stockpiled since my largest kettle was too small. Thus, my batch of applesauce only used two thirds of the apples, since I was limited by the smaller number of pint jars I had on hand.

I had to do something with those remaining apples, so I decided to bake. Until almost 10:00 p.m. Josh read me Voyage of the Dawn Treader  Out of the Silent Planet (our read-aloud choices are almost always Lewis, Tolkien, or Harry Potter). I peeled, shredded, whisked, stirred, chopped, folded, tested ...

And four batches later, I rested!

Fall Apple Bread
(adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I received as a wedding present more than nine years ago (!))

1.5 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/3 whole wheat)
1 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt
.25 tsp baking powder
.25 tsp nutmeg
.25 tsp dried ginger (optional)

1 egg
1 cup sugar (I used half brown)
.25 cup cooking oil
1.5 cups peeled, cored, and finely shredded apples (food processor speeds the shredding along immensely--but also is the reason why I needed to bake four batches, since I lost track of how much apple I was shredding! I also added in a zucchini I had on hand)

.5 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and halfway up the sides of a loaf pan, or several mini loaf pans--or put muffin liners in a muffin tin.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
3. In another medium bowl, beat egg, then add sugar, oil, and apple.
4. Add wet to dry all at once, stirring just until combined. Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into pan(s) (fill mini loaf or muffin tins 2/3 full).
5. Bake full-sized loaf for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. (Bake mini loaf tins for around 30-35 minutes, muffins for 20-25). Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then remove loaf and cool fully on wire rack.

Enjoy. This recipe is extremely easy to double (and bake both batches at the same time). Quadrupling might be a bit much. I bet it would also be delicious with a streusel topping (.25 cup brown sugar, 3 Tbsp flour, dash cinnamon, with 2 Tbsp butter rubbed or cut in). It's also really lovely toasted with a bit of peanut butter on top.


  1. Correction: Josh read you Out of the Silent Planet.

  2. Good work! There is a kind of freedom that comes in these nesting days to do projects like this.

    You were faster thinking about your jars than I (when I made four quarts of pickles and couldn't get the big pot I borrowed to boil properly on my glass-top stove).

    Baby Wallace will surely enjoy that applesauce in six months or so (if there's any left)!

    Also: we read Harry Potter to Lu, and have resolved to read The Lord of the Rings this time around.

    Love to you all!