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.
Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Hop
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday