As I walked into the produce section of my grocery store a few days ago, I got a warm, happy, “welcome-home!” feeling. Bins and crates of pumpkins and apples were everywhere! I love this time of year; autumn, when the weather cools down, leaves put on their brightest and best attire, and porches are transformed into colorful vignettes for family and neighbors to enjoy. Part of the excitement of fall, I think, is that it kicks off a whole season of decorating, baking, family traditions, parties, and gifts. The promise of all that fun makes me love autumn even more.
I brought home some of the apples (and one giant pumpkin). I chose some Gala apples, as well as some Cortland, which I had never used before. Different apples are recommended for specific uses, whether baking, eating out of hand, stewing, or whatever other things you might want to do with your apples. Here is a site from the U.S. Apple Association listing types of apples and their best uses. I found it interesting! Some of the kinds listed aren’t available in my town, unfortunately.
I made with my apples a wonderful apple bread. I’ve used this recipe for years now and everyone loves it! I’ve shared it with lots of friends who now use it every fall when they’re in the mood for fall baking. It’s very basic, but the taste will send your tongue down memory lane to Grandma’s house.
MamaSteph’s Apple Bread
1 cup oil (my intention is to try to replace this oil, or 1/2 of it, with applesauce. I think it would work.)
2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups diced apples (about three big apples; I don’t peel them.)
3 cups plain flour
1-2+ tsp of cinnamon (I use 2)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup of chopped nuts, optional
Mix dry ingredients, except sugar, together in a mixing bowl, and set aside. In mixer bowl, cream together oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Blend it for a couple of minutes, until it lightens in color and looks whipped.
Turn mixer to lowest setting, and add the dry ingredients, about 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is well incorporated and uniform. Then gently add in chopped apples. (By the way, I’ve even used plain old Red Delicious apples in this with good results. Use whatever you have.)
Scoop the thick batter into two greased and floured loaf pans, or three disposable aluminum loaf pans.
Bake in two loaf pans or 3 foil pans for 1- ½ hours at 300 degrees.
This bread is so moist, dense, and cinnamon-y. My 6’4″ 14 year old finished off almost a whole loaf all by himself yesterday! I hope you’ll let it help you welcome fall into your home!