What a perfect day for a warm slice of homemade apple bread! At least it is here on the East Coast of the US, where we have 24 inches of snow already and it’s still going strong!
Every winter, my storm preparation plans include thinking of new recipes to try. This one was published not long ago in the Wall Street Journal but originally came from Applehood & Motherpie, a cookbook published about 30 years ago by the Junior League of Rochester, NY. (I’m not entirely sure what a Junior League is or does, except that a number of them like to publish cookbooks. Based on this recipe alone, I’ve ordered the cookbook!)
At any rate, start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees, Fahrenheit (roughly 165 degrees Celsius). While the oven is heating, assemble your ingredients: 2 to 3 medium apples (I used Galas); 1 stick (4 ounces) of butter, softened; 2 cups of flour (regular or bread flour); 2/3 cup of granulated sugar; 2 eggs; 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 2 tablespoons buttermilk; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 2 tablespoons butter; and 2 tablespoons of flour. (Not shown: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1/2 teaspoon salt.)
Peel, core, and dice the apples. You’ll need two cups of diced apples in all. (Two medium-large Galas filled two cups.)
Beat the butter in a mixer until creamy, about 30 to 60 seconds, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and flour. Beat until well-blended.
Add the baking soda to the two tablespoons of buttermilk.
Then, mix the baking soda in with a fork. It’ll form little bubbles all around the edges. (I love kitchen chemistry!)
Add this to the batter and blend well. Now, stir in the diced apples by hand.
Scoop the batter into a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan that has been lightly greased (or sprayed with a cooking spray), then lightly dusted with flour. In a small bowl, mix together with a fork the 2 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of flour. It will make a kind of paste.
Crumble this over the top of the batter in the pan.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center is done. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and cool a few more minutes on the rack, trying hard not to slice any off while it’s too hot. (This will be hard because it smells so good.)
After a couple of hours of shoveling snow, this was just right when paired with a steaming mug of hot tea.