I’m so excited for APPLE WEEK here at 2create! Tomorrow I have a list of 25 ways to eat an apple a day, but today I am sharing a family recipe!
My sister-in-law T first served this bread to me a long time ago. I’m nearing a milestone birthday, so we won’t go into details on how long ago that might have been ;) I loved it at first bite, and loved the idea of having chunks of fresh apple in the bread.
I think she got the recipe from one of those workplace cookbooks. You know, the kind with the plastic comb bindings that contain all the best recipes from the workplace potlucks? I average about one good recipe per cookbook out of those. Maybe. And sometimes those recipes become part of the family!
It has a heavy layer of cinnamon sugar sweetening up the top. I think all breads and muffins should have that! It’s my favorite part. The only thing better than a thick layer of cinnamon sugar is a thick layer of crunchy streusel! But that’s off topic. Back to the Raw Apple Bread.
Use whatever fresh apples you wish. I use what I have — especially any apples that are starting to get old and wrinkly. *sigh* That’s enough talk about old and wrinkly! Seriously, you are chopping them up and baking them with cinnamon. It’s going to be good no matter what.
Red Delicious are nice and sweet when you bake them, but here I used a small Gala and a small … something else. Braeburn probably. I ate that giant Honeycrisp later in the day!
In my mind, there’s nothing to tweak about this recipe’s ingredients. It is that good, and that satisfying. But it should come with two warnings!
Warning one: the batter will be E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y thick, almost like cookie dough.
It goes hand in hand with this one:
Warning 2: the bread must be wrapped and let age for a day to let the moisture from the apple chunks spread throughout the bread. If you don’t do this, you will be under-impressed. So, if you are going to the trouble of making this in the first place, hold off and enjoy it at its best!
If I were to change anything about this recipe, I would try two things just for fun. First, I’d try substituting butter for the shortening. Because isn’t butter always better than shortening, if you can get away with it? Second, I’d try substituting an apple pie spice blend for the cinnamon in the bread itself, just to see what happens.
Raw Apple Bread
2 c. diced raw apple (peeled or unpeeled) (about 2 small)
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon … be generous
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. nuts of choice (walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, or hazelnuts would all be good)
Topping: 1 Tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together the shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Stir dry ingredients together, then stir into shortening mixture until combined. Stir in apples, raisins, and nuts until evenly distributed. Grease bottom only of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Spread batter into pan. Top with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes. Let cool in pan, then remove. (For best results, seal airtight and store for a day before slicing.) Cut 1/2″ slices.
You can see that I also leave the peels on my apples, just like Sam did yesterday in her hand-pies (and by the way, YUM! yes?). Now you know where she gets that from! The only apple I’d peel here is a Red Delicious, as I think their skins have a bit of bitterness to them.
Oh, and maybe one day I’ll even add the raisins and nuts the recipe calls for! I’m sure that would be delicious, but for various reasons T will not have those in her baked goods. And since I had it her way first, it became my way :)
You need to make this Raw Apple Bread, especially if you are So Done with zucchini bread from those monsters your garden has been sneaking in on you. By the time you are ready to move on from this apple bread recipe, I’ll remind you of my best-ever, definitely out of the ordinary, pumpkin bread.
Stick with me — I’ll keep you in seasonal bread recipes up this fall!