In our front yard is a commingled grouping of crab apple trees boasting fragrant pink and white blossoms each spring, which in turn feeds wildlife (and not so wild neighbors) in the fall. One side of the grouping is a Japanese Crabapple (pink blossoms) with small, dark red berry-shaped sour fruit, unfit for anything put sugared-up jams. The other side is more like the European Wild Crab Apple (white blossoms) with small 2 inch green and light red apples, which is a tart-sweet apple suitable for many recipes, yet somewhat tedious to prepare because of its size.
It is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve passed by this tree living life with little notice of potential fruit pies, apple crisp, and spice breads hanging on its branches, happy to let others enjoy the harvest each year. In recent months I’ve been in a use-what-you’ve-got mode reworking recipes for the few vegetables and herbs in my garden and inspired by the foraging trends I have followed in the blogoshere. Admittedly, picking low hanging fruit in your own yard is hardly foraging, but it does feel good to get out of consumer mode in some small way and use something I already have.
It turned out to be a worthwhile morning picking more than a bushel basket of apples that have become apple crisp, school lunch snacks, pies, salads, and this tasty Apple Walnut Bread. I took inspiration from a zucchini bread recipe and reworked it with apples, sprouted wheat flour, and coconut sugar, similar to the Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffins from last week. Due to the size of these apples, I decided there would be no laborious peeling involved, just coring and grating. Of course, you could puree the apples in a food processor, but I wanted juicy bits of apple in every bite.
Sweet-tart apples and walnuts are a classic combo against a backdrop of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg—the extra apple slices and streusel topping add a wonderfully crisp and chewy texture. For an extra treat, mix in a little cinnamon and honey into sweet cream butter for a heavenly finish. As it turns out there are plenty of apples to still feed the wildlife and share with neighbors, though now, each spring as the flowers open I’ll be thinking about the Apple Walnut Bread those blossoms will eventually become.
- 1½ cups apple -- shredded and packed
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut oil -- melted
- 2 whole eggs
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1¾ cups sprouted wheat flour
- ½ cup walnuts -- coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon clove
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 small apple -- cored and sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon sprouted whole wheat flour
- ⅛ cup oats
- 2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter -- softened
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of an 8" or 9" loaf pan with parchment paper. Optional: Prepare topping by combining the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until evenly mixed and a crumbly consistency in reached. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir apple, sugar, coconut oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until well incorporated. Pour into prepared loaf pan; top with sliced apples in a pattern around the edge of the loaf and sprinkle with streusel topping.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to release the sides. Gently turn over onto a wire rack and roll upright--this can be a little tricky--replace any lost streusel topping and cool completely on the wire rack before slicing.
Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Hop
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday