Of all of the fruit picking that we do around here, apples are my favorite. Quick, shady, and cheap- for these reasons, I pick numerous times over the course of the fall. Only with apple picking do I get a fulfillment of my expectations of how the experience will really be- a nice brisk walk up the hill, twenty minutes of humming quiet while I pretend I’m twelve and climb up to the higher limbs thinking of how resourceful and fabulous I am to be climbing trees for cheap apples, a back spasm on the way down the hill as I carry a really heavy bag of apples, pay my 12 bucks plus an extra 75 cents for an apple cider donut and I’m off to contemplate my many many apples. I must say that most fruit picking experiences don’t work out this easily (although they are all totally worth it, sunburn, tick bites and all), but apples are just like that. Last week, I picked a half bushel of honeycrisps, and my kids are eating two to three of these a day.
Of course apple recipes are as numerous as apple varieties. but here’s a good one for apple bread adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. It’s kind of healthy and works pretty well for school lunches.
2 Cups coarsely grated apple (you can keep the skins on if you like)
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon rind
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 Tbs. melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup finally chopped nuts (whatever you have around except peanuts)
Combine grated apple, lemon juice and rind.
Beat together sugar, butter and egg. Combine with apple.
Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Make a well, and pour in the first mixture. Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until combined.
Spread into buttered loaf pan.
Bake 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees.
Makes one loaf.