In late September we picked about 20 pounds of apples off the little Norland apple tree in our backyard. Although they were pretty good eaten fresh for the first week or 10 days, they soon started to soften up, even though they were stored in the refrigerator. Rather than throw them into the compost, I’ve been cooking up small batches of applesauce (like my boys learned to make at the Fort Steel Apprenticeship Program) – basically a few cups of peeled, cored and chopped apples, with a quarter cup of water and a half teaspoon of cinnamon simmered in a covered saucepan until soft enough to mash with a potato masher.
Today I decided to open my binder of recipes collected over the years and bake some Apple Spice Loaf. A thick slice of this loaf, along with a slice of cheese and a glass of milk, makes for a quick and easy breakfast when we’re headed out the door for a hiking or snowshoeing adventure. It’s also one of our boys’ favourite school day breakfasts. Mr. GeoK sometimes enjoys a toasted slice of Apple Spice Loaf with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
I can’t remember where I came across the original recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years. If you want to give it a try, here’s the version I’m currently using…
1 cup peeled, cored and shredded apple (I usually use more than this – about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil (or your favourite cooking oil)
1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel (be sure to wash the orange first – use a zester if you prefer)
2 lightly beaten eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 scant cup whole wheat flour)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Shred apples into large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, oil, eggs and orange peel and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder over top and stir again. Add flour and stir until just moistened.
NOTE: Depending on how juicy the apples are, you may find the batter is too thick and very hard to stir. If that’s the case, add some more shredded apple or about a third of a cup of unsweetened applesauce to allow for easier mixing.
Spray a loaf pan (8.5 inch by 4.5 inch or 9 inch by 5 inch) with non-stick cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 or 15 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in foil, plastic wrap or a recycled bread bag. It’s better the next day.