A couple of weeks ago my family went apple picking at my most favorite orchard ever called Skytop in the mountains of North Carolina. We needed a family day, wanted to pick apples but didn’t want to have to do it amongst crowds, so we took some advice my mom gave me ages ago to “never let schooling interfere with education,” took Tid Bit out of school for the day and headed mountainward.
It was a glorious day. Cool, sunny, crisp, in need of a jacket and hat. Fall breathing everywhere. It’s my favorite kind of weather. It was my favorite kind of day.
And we picked some serious apples. Pink Lady apples. My favorite kind of apples (which coincidentally are the MOST expensive kinds to buy at the store.) Of course…
And because I recently learned an interesting factoid that apples will last 10 times longer in the fridge (equating to about 90 days of freshness,) I thought we needed to buy even more than we picked. Can I just say that one entire drawer of my fridge is full…so full of apples that I can barely open it. And I still have probably 25 more apples on the counter…counting down their days of freshness 10 times faster than the happy apples in the fridge.
I had a problem. And I needed apple recipes. But not the same apple recipes that are standbys either. I wanted fresh ideas for my quickly unfreshening apples. So I went to my current stand-by favorite cookbook and found a recipe for Rum-Raisin Apple Bread. It had me at “rum”…and the fact that it required a good number of apples to make it. Mostly, I figured that since my favorite banana bread recipe has rum, it must be a key player in moisture and flavor even though you don’t taste it at all in the finished product. If I’d gone to culinary school, I’d probably know the exact science behind what it does…but I didn’t, so I leave it to Alton Brown and Good Eats from the Food Network to teach me about those things.
It’s a good one ya’ll. I totally overcooked it because I decided in my infinite wisdom to begin this project before church. It took me longer to do than I’d guestimated because of all the extra helpers in the kitchen, so I had to set the oven to finish up while we were gone. It’s still good though. The flavor is subtle, fallish, and delish. It is especially excellent toasted with cream cheese or butter slathered on top. Plus, it was easy peasy to make. You get to chop the apples in a food processor!
So without further ado…I give you…
Rum-Raisin Apple Bread
This sweet, quick bread is moist and rich, and needs no embellishment at all. It keeps up to 5 days, freezes beautifully, and makes a nice holiday gift.
Makes two 9 by 5-inch loaves
4 cups all-purpose flour (I might use 1/2 whole wheat flour next time too to give it that more nutty flavor but keep it from being too heavy)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1¼ cups canola or safflower oil
¾ cup dark rum
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and lightly flour two 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pans and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix.
4. Cream together the sugar, eggs, oil, rum, and vanilla in a separate bowl with an electric mixer.
5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix.
6. Put the apples in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times; you should have 4 to 4½ cups processed apples. Add the apples, raisins, and currants to the batter and stir until just blended. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
7. Bake 1 to 1¼ hours, until the breads have risen, the tops are slightly cracked, and a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean. (Note: This is a very dense, moist loaf.)
8. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Serve warm or place on a baking rack to cool.
We’ve been having it for breakfast or also I’ve loved it as a snack with afternoon coffee. I doubled the recipe, put 3 loaves in the freezer, and have loved having it around for just general homemade yumminess at my fingertips.
Oh, and PS. The winners (as chosen randomly from random.org) from the Fashion Week Giveaways are:
#14 Comment “enter me in, loges! I FB liked you and Becca!” from Amy
from the Accessorize Yourself post
and #1 comment “I liked Luxe Beauty on Facebook” from Molly
from the Best Face Forward post.
If you ladies would please email me your addresses to Logan @ LifeForDessert dot com then I’ll pass along your information to our generous giveaway sponsors Style By Becca and Luxe Beauty Boutique (who don’t forget is still offering a discount code for purchase orders placed through the middle of this month. See the end of THIS POST for more details on how to save when you buy beauty products.)