Monday, October 24, 2011
Nutty Apple Bread
What does one do with a plethora of apples?
Gallons of apple cider? Check.
Turns out apple cider and apple juice are really the same thing. First you juice the apples, then comes the tricky part. Do you strain the hell out of it? I'm talkin' cheesecloth people. Or do you run it through the colander you use for pasta? That's the difference, thoroughly strained: apple juice, lottsa pulp: cider.
So what do you do next, when everyone's tired of apple cider and you still have 2 gigantic boxes of apples taking up space in your already cramped back porch?
Make moist, delicious nut-filled apple bread is what. Eat it, then make it again. Repeat until you are tired or feel a little disgusted with yourself.
My problem is I can't say no to fresh-picked produce.
Bob, my landlord, (you know Bob, the one who ding-dong ditches boxes of beets and cucumbers at my back door) well this time its apples. He came by with a box of apples from his mother-in-law's tree. I saw him two days later at the library, and he asked if I wanted more? What any sane person would've said was, "No thank you, I haven't done anything with the hundred-or-so apples you already gave me."
But of course I said, "Sure, I'll take some more!" Before we'd even returned from the library, there were two more boxes sitting at my doorstep. Man he's fast!
My 'lil one couldn't have been happier. For the next week I was finding half-eaten apples laying all over the house—on the couch, on the floor, in my bed, in her bed. Apparently when she had tired of the one she was working on, it seemed completely logical to just drop it where she happened to be standing and go grab another. Why not? There were at least a million more on the porch.
Of all the things I did with those apples, this bread was by far my favorite. It is especially delicious warm straight out of the oven, or toasted with butter.
I used hazelnut flour because it was in my freezer and I thought it would give this bread moisture and complexity, but you could substitute whole-wheat flour or just use all-purpose flour. Speaking of substitutions you can also use whatever nut suits your fancy. I used pecans, because that's what I had, but walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds would also be good.
Nutty Apple Bread
Adapted from Joy The Baker
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup hazelnut flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup soy milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup grated apples
1/ 2 cup coarsely chopped apples
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Coarse sugar for dusting
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together soy milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and add apples and half of the pecans. Fold to mix thoroughly.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle a little more cinnamon, some coarse sugar and the remaining pecans on top.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.