Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Apple Cinnamon Bread

I find love in the little things.

It’s in little notes left on windshields, a small gesture to get hair out of a face, a snack ready-made when an arrival is imminent.

This year, as in every year we’ve been together, Boy declared that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s commercial and too mushy for him. (He’s not super in-touch with his emotions. He’s known to crack jokes at the points in romantic comedies when I begin crying. I’ve been known to give him a solid punch in the side for doing so.)

So maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t seen him in days due to a snowboarding trip to Vermont, or maybe he decided we do kinda celebrate it, but he showed up last night with a plant. As in, a potted plant, “because you can watch a bouquet of flowers die, or you can watch the plant live!” (His words.)

That’s it. It’s huge. Beautiful, but huge. And kinda reminds me of the love fern from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But it was thoughtful of him and I love it.

What did I have in return for him?

A slice of this bread with a thin coating of peanut butter on top.

We had plans to make dinner together but on the phone prior to his arrival he noted his current state of starvation. I knew just what to do. I had made this bread over the weekend while he was gone and knew he would love it. The bread is faintly sweet, dotted with the chunks of Granny Smith apples, and finished with a sugary topping. With a bit of peanut butter spread on top, it’s a little slice of heaven. The perfect snack.

The perfect little thing to show him I was listening and I cared.

(He obviously scarfed it down, barely mumbled a Thank You, and we went about our business but I know somewhere in the depths of his mind he understood.)

Apple Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally on Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes 1 4×8″ loaf.

Ingredients

For loaf:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith recommended)

For topping:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 4×8″ loaf pan and line with parchment. Set aside.

For loaf, In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs. Add in oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. On low, add in the flour mixture and, careful not to overmix, mix until just combined. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan.

For topping, Mix sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.

How was your Valentine’s Day?

 

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Apple Crisp + Review

The quest for America.

The quest to land on the moon.

The quest for a map of the human genome.

The quest for the cure for AIDS.

The quest for the perfect apple.

One (and only one) of these things concerned me this weekend.

I went apple picking! (Incidentally, do you enjoy these pictures of yours truly? Do they add to the experience? Or no? I appreciate the feedback.)

It was a gorgeous day in the TriState area so Boy and I took a little trip down to an orchard for some afternoon fun in the sun with some apples.

And I’m sure we’re not the only people who suffer from this problem but we really got into the quest for the perfect looking apple and would pick, and pick, and pick to our heart’s content until the bags got a little too heavy for even Boy to carry. (My heart soared when he grabbed my bag early on in the picking. That meant one hand for pictures and one for apples! Yay!) Then we realized that the two of us had to eat two entire bags of apples. Oh goodness. We picked Granny Smith, Winesap, Fuji, and Empire apples and I couldn’t wait to get started on some fall baking!

I had gone apple picking a few years ago with different friends from school and afterwards held a get-together at my place. I spent the afternoon baking an apple pie and an apple crisp and I think Boy started his crush on me when he bit into that crisp. He couldn’t get enough!

So this year when we finally got around to doing it ourselves, I knew it was the first thing I had to make.

It also nicely coincided with the arrival of my new apple peeler from cookware.com!

Take a look at this little beauty:

Oh baby. I am on a roll with this thing! I was peeling, coring, and slicing apples like no one’s business. It definitely makes the process go a lot faster and it’s actually kinda fun to use! You just crank the apple through the device and it takes care of the rest. All you have to do at the end is make a cut down the middle of the slices to separate them and you’re good to go. Perfect for making pies, crisps, or even just to slice an apple for a snack. I also loved the suction bottom so the device wasn’t slipping and sliding all over the place. You can use it for potatoes etc too. I’m looking forward to trying that out! I highly highly recommend this product. It’s my apples’ new best friend.

 

So, after processing all my apples in under 5 minutes, I got to work on my favorite crisp recipe. Ina Garten is one of my favorite Food Network hosts. Her recipes never cease to impress and they’re often quite simple with perhaps a little twist for an extra oomph. The oomph in this case is the addition of citrus. The result is a wonderful tang to the crisp that’s perfectly offset by the crumbly topping which also has its own oomph in the form of kosher salt though I’m sure sea salt would be extra fabulous!

Apple Crisp
adapted from Ina Garten

Makes one 9″ x 14″ baking dish’s worth of crisp.

Ingredients

For filling:

  • 5 lb baking apples, peeled, cored & sliced (I used Winesaps & Granny Smiths in about equal proportions)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of one orange
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For topping:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c oatmeal
  • heaping 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9″ x 14″ baking dish.

For filling, Toss apples in the remainder of the filling ingredients. Pour into baking dish.

For topping, pour all topping ingredients into a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is somewhat uniform. Alternatively, use a pastry cutter or two butter knives running in opposite directions (which is what I did) until the same endpoint is reached. Scatter over apples in the baking dish.

Bake on top of a foil-lined baking sheet in case of spill for 1 hour or until brown and bubbly.

Heaven.

What are you making with your fall apples?