Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How 'Bout Them Apples

Can I take it back?

In my last post, I discussed the cooling of the weather as summer turns into fall. I would like to take this opportunity to take back everything I said as I sit here during the absolute hottest day in recorded LA history: 113 degrees F. Unbelievable.

Ironically, we went apple picking last weekend.

I am pretty sure apple trees are associated with cool, even cold weather. I am not sure what to make of the fact that we were basically picking apples in the sweltering heat of the desert sun, but the fruit was plentiful and delicious in Oak Glen, CA. The day-trip was a recommendation from my co-worker, Andy who has been there with his family a few times. Sube accompanied Zach and me on the 90 minute drive into the depths of small-town California. Brian just bought a new amazing camera, and recorded the picturesque adventure for his "Movie of the Week (14)":

There were five different types of apples we picked: Fuji, Jonothan, Spartan, Macintosh, and I don't remember the name of the other! I ended up with 8 pounds of apples. We have been eating them as is, but you know you are about to see some apple recipes coming soon....starting now.

Zach doesn't particularly care for apple pie, and I don't need to be stuffing my face in a pie all by myself so that option is out. I decided to make some apple bread to try. As I have said before, I am not particularly good at baking, and this was no exception. I accidentally added a tablespoon of baking powder instead of a teaspoon and I left of the baking soda completely. I also left the bread in the oven an extra 7 or 8 minutes (who can be certain?) That sort of thing usually wouldn't matter so much when you are cooking, but for this, it made the bread come out slightly dry. I have chosen to still blog this recipe, however, because despite my mistakes (which were actually disaster-size mistakes), the bread was delicious. Like I said, slightly dry, but delicious! I ate a slice right out of the oven and drizzled some of that Jullian, CA mountain blossom honey over it while it was still warm.

It had a really great taste. It would be a great substitution for banana walnut bread for someone who doesn't like bananas. It was slightly sweet and crunchy (with the walnuts).... a great use for my first few apples!

You will like this bread if you make it like I did. You will love this bread if you make it like this:

Apple Walnut Loaf
(recipe from Allrecipes.com - makes one loaf)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter (original recipe used butter, but commenters on allrecipes suggested oil to make the bread more moist OR you can stick with the 1/2 cup of butter and add a 1/2 cup or so of apple sauce or milk for moisture)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup apples - peeled, cored and shredded (I don't really think you need to peel the apples; some commenters on the original recipe suggested leaving the skin on for added fiber since it did not change the consistency for them at all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Mix together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and nuts.
In a large bowl, beat butter or oil (plus any apple sauce or milk you are adding), sugar and 1 egg until smooth. Beat in second egg, and stir in vanilla. Stir in shredded apples. Pour flour mixture into batter; stir just until moistened. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Place on a rack to cool. (I would suggest no more than 50 minutes!)


The Boston Lady said...

I cannot believe the crazy temps you have had!! While we were complaining about the humidity I was imagining you and Zach (and Stan) enjoying those lovely cool evening breezes! Hope it cools down quickly. Next time you hit O-town, Mr. T and I will have to take you biking through Winter Garden. We have done it several times and it is a fun and pretty ride! Thanks for your comments and stay cool...

The Boston Lady said...

And Brian's video made me want to cry for many reasons. Seeing you and Zach. And for Brian's grandmother's support - and his reaction. Nice.

Alan said...

Really enjoy your blog and it was great seeing you and Zach on the video.

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