Apple Walnut Bread – a taste of fall
There was enough time for one last Colorado outing before we head to the boat in the Chesapeake. I went to Palisade and returned with a 25 lb box of apples and a smile on my face. It was my annual trip to visit the area’s best farm stands with my Master Food Safety Advisor friends from Colorado State University.
Of course I bought apples…some of my best memories of growing up were Sunday afternoons when the whole family would climb ladders or shimmy into the branches of our five apples trees to harvest the McIntosh apples. My mom would spend the next week up to her chin in apples -canning and baking.
So, what am I going to do with all of my apples? After making 15 pints of applesauce and eating baked breakfast apples, I made Apple Walnut Bread. This recipe is adapted from a favorite of my youth, growing up in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. On the rare occasion that our family of six went out to dinner, we’d sometimes visit a restaurant on the edge of an apple orchard outside of town – the Rock’N Pines Den. My mother talked the owners into giving her the recipe for their famous Apple Bread. The original recipe made 6 loaves, so I’ve adapted this dense deliciousness in to one tasty loaf. Each bite of this bread is a taste of fall!
This is what fall tastes like. During the baking process the apple chunks will shrink and become soft jewels of flavor nestled among the nuts and raisins.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cups sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract or ½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 1½ cups chopped apples, 1/2" pieces about 1-2 apples
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup raisins optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Grease the sides and bottom of the pan, and then line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, allspice and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl stir together eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla and lemon extracts.
Add dry mixture to egg mixture and stir until just moistened. Batter will be thick.
Fold apples, walnuts and raisins into the batter.
Spoon the chunky batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200°F.
Cover loosely with foil after 45 minutes if it is browning too fast.
Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife and slowly remove the bread from the pan. Peel off the bottom parchment paper. Allow the bread to cool for 1½ hour before wrapping it up for storage.
When you are folding the fruit and nuts into the batter, it might seem like there isn't enough batter - hold the faith - the apples shrink into the loaf during baking to make little jewels of apple goodness.