Hello all from the world of my kitchen! Tomorrow is March 14. That is 3/14. That is Pie Day. Now, for days and days I’ve been thinking, I’m going to be a total bad ass and make a pie. From scratch! I can make my own pie crust and fill it with delicious things and post it for Pie Day!
Friends. That is much easier said than done. Pie is freaking hard. Pie crust is stupid hard. I’m working on it, but I’m nowhere near a place where I feel comfortable walking someone else through it. It will have to wait for another day.
Still, I wanted to make something that embodied the essence and delight of pie. I thought about a lot of different kinds of pies, and, while not my favorite, the classic is Apple Pie. So I thought I would try and put those flavors into something that I know I can make and make well.
Cinnamon Apple Bread.
You can have this bread for breakfast, a snack or throw a simple glaze on it and serve it as dessert. It is super versatile and just wants everyone to be happy. Thank you Apple Bread!
Here we go!
Chopped and skinned Granny Smith apple (no apples were harmed in the making of this bread), unbleached flour, brown sugar (which usually is lumped in with wet ingredients because of sugar and chemistry but for us in this one is a dry ingredient), baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats.
Before continuing, it is very important that we talk about apples. When baking, it is vital that you use the right apple. The baking process as well as the acids in sugar will wear down at the flesh of the apple. While baking, the apples will also take on different flavors. If you choose an apple based on how it tastes in your hand, you run the risk of having apples in your baked goods that are overly sweet and incredibly mushy.
Red Delicious are not for baking.
Fuji are not really the best either.
Pink Ladies should stick to teasing Sandra Dee and making up songs about boys in leather jackets.
Granny Smith is the way to go. They are super tart in hand which means they balance out beautifully in a pie or bread. They are also very firm and end up with a lovely texture after the baking process. Granny Smith or bust.
Ok. We can continue.
Unsalted butter, local honey, eggs, vanilla
Pictured but not participating: Greek Yogurt.
Long story short, I made this bread once with Greek yogurt and it failed miserably. I made it again without Greek yogurt and it was glorious. the yogurt is in the pictures, but the process going forward will not include it. If you really want to use it for the tang and texture, go for it! Be aware that other elements will need to be adjusted. If you do it, leave me a comment and let me know what you do! 🙂
Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together. Then toss the chopped apple in the mixture.
Set the apple mixture aside.
In the bowl of your Carmelita, or an electric hand mixer, combine the butter, honey, eggs and vanilla. (Note that my photos include Greek yogurt. Your mixture will not actually appear this runny when you make this.)
You should still have chunks of butter in the batter. That is good. Freaking. Flavor up in there. It’s so good, it’s not even flavor. It’s flavour. With a u. Like old school.
Now, add half the apple mixture and mix until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. More mixing = more gluten = tough bread. No. bueno.
Now add the rest of the apple mixture and combine on medium speed until all ingredients are well incorporated into the batter.
Yeah. I know. It looks like baby food. Wait for it. It won’t TASTE like baby food.
Prep your loaf pain however you want. I usually lightly grease it with butter and then flour all the sides. Tap the excess flour out and you are good to go.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes.
Note. I thought I could bake this batter at a steady temperature for 45 minutes and be totally and completely golden. Golden brown that is. What I didn’t know was that my oven door decided today was the day to just…ya know…not close. That makes it really hard to keep a consistent temperature.
I checked the bread at 45 minutes and it was raw. I checked it at 60 minutes. It was not quite raw, but still not done in the middle. I went ahead and took it out of the oven, hoping it would finish baking while it cooled. After I thought I was cooled, I went to turn it out of the pan…
And the entire middle of the bread, still raw, fell through the top of the loaf and onto my counter. It was awful.
So I had a mild panic attack and freaked out a little bit. And then I started over. I made the whole bread again, without the Greek yogurt, and paid really close attention to the oven temperature and how it fluctuated. I noticed that the temperature dropped by about 25 degrees between me putting the pan in, and pulling it out. So, I would love to tell you EXACTLY how long it would take to do this, but unfortunately, old ovens have conspired against me this weekend.
Upon my second attempt, it was somewhere between 50-55 minutes, but your mileage may vary.
When its done correctly, you get golden brown delicious fruit bread goodness!
Allow the whole loaf pain to cool about 10-15 minutes on a cooling rack. Then, turn it out onto the cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying.
Nosh on, friends!
Cinnamon Apple Bread
Yield: 1 loaf Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 45-55 minutes
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup local honey
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Toss apple chunks in this mix and set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter, honey, eggs and vanilla.
- Add 1/2 the apple mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the other half of the apple mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix!
- Pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden brown on top and a knife can be inserted and comes out cleanly.
- Place loaf pan on a cooling rack and cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove bread from pan and allow to cool completely on cooling rack before slicing.
Happy Pie Day all! Enjoy something delicious!