It’s my last post of the year, so before I continue with a visual recap of our holiday shenanigans, I hope you all have a fun and safe time ringing in the New Year this coming weekend. However you may feel about 2016, each day is a chance to turn things around. Maybe you want to start right now or perhaps it helps you mentally to start on the first day of 2017 or after a week of getting familiar with writing or typing 2017 instead of 2016. Whatever works for you! Just promise me you won’t go into the new year already defeated. It might be exercise, better eating habits, volunteer work, activism, professional goals, learning something new, getting organized, finances, taking care of things you’ve been putting off, reconnecting with someone, spending more quality time with people. Many of the more challenging objectives in life require baby steps, patience, and perseverance. So be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You will get there.
It’s been a wonderfully snowy week in Crested Butte with sunshine in between powder days, allowing us to rotate through several flavors of skiing. I’m talking quads of steel! Neva has been enjoying snowy romps around the neighborhood and a few ski tours (we have to ease her back into it because… she’s crazy). When she isn’t losing her marbles in deep snow, our girl likes to curl up on a plush blanket on her bench by the window – watching people and dogs walk by while she soaks up the sunshine, dozing off on occasion. I never said she wasn’t spoiled.
neva’s impersonation of a traumatized reindeer
neva’s christmas goodie plate – she is totally spoiled
jeremy drops in on a gorgeous powder day
sliding off the ice throne
working up a sweat skate skiing on a single digit day
ripping skins after an uphill ski, ready to ski down
another delicious powder day
christmas morning on the lift – fresh tracks and free refills!
I debated punting on a recipe this week since we are between holidays, but I am also a creature of habit. Besides, I like sharing recipes with folks since I can’t easily make something and serve it to most of you. This happens to be the perfect kind of breakfast/brunch/tea/snack/dessert cake for this time of year without involving pumpkin spice, peppermint, or eggnog. Don’t get me wrong, I like all three of those flavors (not together, though), but enough is enough is enough. Let’s make some apple fritter bread.
cinnamon, cornstarch, brown sugar, sugar, sour cream, butter, vanilla, apples, flour, confectioners sugar, eggs, nutmeg, salt, milk, baking powder
dice the apples
toss the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch
This bread is almost as easy as a quick bread except for the part where you layer the fruit with the batter. The batter tends to be thicker and fluffier than most quick bread batters (I’m thinking banana or zucchini breads). You can probably use any variety of apple, but I prefer the tartness of the Granny Smith for this kind of bread.
whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and nutmeg together
beat the butter in a tablespoon at a time until it resembles crumbs
add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and milk
The original recipe alternates half of the batter with half of the apples, ending with apples on top. You can use a knife to swirl the apples and batter together. I think I may not have swirled them together enough on my first attempt, because the loaf would fall apart where the apple pieces were concentrated when I sliced it. On my second try, I decided to mix most of the apples into the batter, leaving a quarter of the apples for the topping. The result was a more uniform bread that held together nicely and tasted great, but didn’t look or taste like a fritter as much as the first loaf. So you’ve got options.
layering apples on top of half of the batter
the rest of the batter
swirl it properly
For the glaze, you simply whisk some milk (or water or hello, bourbon!) into the confectioners sugar until you get the consistency you want. Start with a tablespoon of liquid then add more as needed. If it’s too thick, it will fall in big globs. If it’s too thin, it will run off the sides and pool at the bottom of the bread. Also, make sure the loaf is cooled before glazing it, or the heat will cause the glaze to pool together and also run down the sides.
whisk milk into powdered sugar
drizzle the glaze over the cooled loaf
the layered loaf
the mixed loaf
You can see in the cross sections how the two loaves are different. The layered version has discrete pockets of spiced apples whereas the mixed version looks and tastes more like a quick bread. Personally, I like the layered version better both for the aesthetics and the taste, but it can be messier to slice. That said, if you offered me either of these loaves, I’d be delighted to have a slice!
a slice of apple fritter bread
2 medium apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (I used Granny Smith)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsps whole milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsps milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan (9×5 inches). Place the diced apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Toss together until the apples are coated. Set aside. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter a tablespoon at a time until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of milk and beat on medium-high speed until the batter is light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes), scraping the sides of the bowl down halfway through.
Method #1 – layers: Pour half of the batter in the baking pan, then top with half of the apples. Repeat once more with the remaining batter and apples. Swirl the layers with a knife (make figure eights in the batter with a knife).
Method #2 – uniform: Mix 3/4 of the apples into the batter. Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with the remaining 1/4 of the diced apple mixture.
Bake: Pat everything down and bake for 45-60 minutes (mine took 75 minutes) until the center sets and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs, but not wet. Let the bread cool for 30 minutes before carefully removing from the pan.
Make the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar together with a tablespoon of milk. Add more milk as needed to achieve a drizzling consistency. When the bread is cool, drizzle the glaze over the top and let set (about 15 minutes).
Makes 1 loaf.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|apple fritters||apple cinnamon caramel monkey bread||apple cider caramel apple cinnamon rolls||apple roses and spiced brown butter tart|