So yesterday was the first official day of Autumn. It was also 100 degrees here in this stupid desert. It doesn't feel like fall at all! Around these parts, you have to wait until the end of October to get any of that "crisp Fall air" action. Lame. So, today when I saw a pretty stack of apples at Trader Joe's I decided to Fake It till I Make It.
I present to you: Apple bread.
First, you take three to four Granny Smith apples, depending on the size.
You're going to peel, core, and chop them into about a 1/2 - 3/4 inch dice.
I don't use those corer/slicer things. I prefer to do it by hand. There's something nice about it.
You want to end up with about 4 cups of chopped fruit. I usually err on the generous side of four cups, which is why I said 3-4 apples. The yield depends on the size of the apples. Today it only took three.
Grease and flour a couple of loaf pans. Also, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Take three slightly beaten eggs,
2 cups of sugar,
1/2 cup vegetable oil,
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce,
and a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
People like to go on about Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, but I'm telling you, it's ALL about the Mexican vanilla. It has this great aromatic quality that you can smell right in the bottle. Also, I highly recommend splurging on the good stuff. You can totally tell the difference in the end product.
Go ahead and mix together all your wet ingredients and set aside.
In a separate bowl, place 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and one teaspoon ground cinnamon.
You can sift those all together, or be lazy like me and use a wire whisk to mix everything together. Your call.
Now take those wet ingredients that you mixed together,
dump in the flour mixture, and mix JUST until blended.
Perfect! Don't overbeat this. Trust me.
Now add your diced apples...
and 1 cup of chopped pecans. I am lazy and bought prechopped ones. Shameful.
Go ahead and divide the batter between the two loaf pans.
Mix together 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter.
Place the loaves in the oven for an hour and 10 minutes. I know that seems like a long time, but remember that a) the temperature is a bit lower and b) these are REALLY dense. Try not to go crazy hungry smelling the good smells coming from your oven while you wait for them to be done. You can check them by sticking a toothpick or wooden skewer into the center and seeing if it comes out clean.
Allow the loaves to cool in the pans on a wire rack for about ten minutes, then remove from the pans and allow to cool on the rack the rest of the way. Wrap them in plastic wrap and let them sit until the next day. I swear to you, they taste better that way. They're still good the first day, don't get me wrong (half of one loaf is gone already) but if you can wait, it's totally worth it.
Labels: cooking, how-to