I grew up in a neighborhood of older homes surrounded by a new subdivision with a brand spanking new elementary school….it was the late 50’s and housing was booming. Our immediate neighborhood had many old growth trees and right in the middle of all this stood the best climbing tree ever. Located in an old lady’s backyard, we stood at the fence wishing she’d just leave so we could sneak into the yard and play in that apple tree.
One summer we got pretty adept at figuring out her schedule; often climbing the tree when she left to do her weekly shopping and getting out of the yard before she returned. Once though, our neighbor came home early and caught us climbing her apple tree. None too happy, she told us to get the orchard baskets and then instructed us to pick every good apple on the tree. After a while, the task became enjoyable and we made a day’s entertainment out of the work of picking apples. At some point in time, without our notice, our neighbor slipped away into the house and baked this wonderful apple bread to reward our efforts.
This woman was not one to share recipes but years later when I married, she gifted me a beautiful hand tatted bread basket liner with her apple bread recipe. Over the years, I’ve made this bread into large loaves, small loaves and muffins. No matter which shape, it’s always delicious.
Makes 1 large loaf, 2 small loaves, or 10 muffins
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk or sour milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup peeled and chopped apples
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside
- Spray loaf pans with baking spray or line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. For loaves I like to spray the pan and add a parchment liner. It helps get the loaf out without any breaking.
- Cream sugar and butter till smooth about 2 minutes
- Add eggs and sour milk beating till smooth.
- Add flour mixture mixing only to incorporate.
- Mix in vanilla and chopped apples.
- Dough will be very thick but the apples add moisture as it bakes.
- Scoop dough into prepared baking tin and spread dough evenly into pan.
- Sprinkle evenly with topping (see recipe below).
- Bake at 350F for 1 hour for large loaf, 50 minutes for small loaves or 45 minutes for muffins.
- Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes then remove from pans to rack and cool completely.
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Chopped nuts (optional)
- Cut through until crumbly. Sprinkle over top before baking.
NOTE: Be certain to add vanilla at the very end after the dough is mixed completely. It really makes a big difference in the taste and texture of this bread.
This was the apple bread recipe we used at the tearoom. We often used it sliced thinly and spread with soften cream cheese for an excellent tea sandwich.