Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Celebrating the arrival of fall...

When Jeff came in the door this afternoon from work, the first thing he said was "If you think I'm taking in whatever smells so good for treat day tomorrow, you are sorely mistaken!" I began to wonder if the treats were going to live up to that!

Jeff and I went to a local orchard this weekend and picked some fresh apples - what a perfect way to welcome in the first day of fall! I won't mention that the person who was on duty to remember the camera kind of forgot... *looks at Jeff*, so I guess we will just have to go back to take pictures and of course pick more apples - you won't hear me complain! I think you can probably guess now what are in the goods for the weekly Wednesday Treat Day for his office.

For maximum apple use, I decided to play around with two recipes to compare how they would turn out as they are somewhat different in how they come together. The first recipe, Dutch Apple Bread, is more like a mildly sweet quickbread with a fairly light texture and has a subtle nutty taste from the use of whole wheat pastry flour. A sweet crunchy mixture is made from flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and toasted walnuts. This is then mixed with apple cider and canola oil to create a crumbly topping that dimples the top of these loaves. The moist bread is studded with chopped apples and has a tender crumb as buttermilk is the liquid used to moisten the batter.

For a different twist to give the bread lift and lightness, we whipped egg whites to stiff peaks and gently folded them in after we added the tart apples. This step did make for some extra effort, but the texture achieved made me want to try this with other recipes.

The next treat, Buttery Apple Loaf Cake, holds true to its name with a fair amount of butter in two separate parts of the recipe. The texture of this one is a little tough to describe - the best I can come up with is a cross between a cake that is a little dense in texture and a quickbread. Another crumbly topping is made, this time with flour, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon. Instead of combining the apples with the batter, this time they are used in two dramatic layers - one inside and one on top. Once the golden batter is ready, half is placed in the bottom of a large loaf pan and then a layer of diced tart apples is scattered on top. One half of the rich crumb topping is sprinkled on with the remaining batter being spread on top of that. More crumb topping, the rest of the apples and then a final layer of additional buttery crumbs create a soft finishing layer. This takes quite awhile to bake (a little over an hour) and needs to be completely cooled before cutting it. I was worried that the topping would be a disaster to try and cut through, but we were pleasantly surprised to see nary a crumb to fall off!

Hmm... these are going to be hard to part with in the morning! While some of the ingredients are similar, the taste and textures between these two are notably different - I'm not sure I could picked a favorite between the two as they were both so good!


9 comments:

  1. They both look good! I love baked apple goodies! So, did you make your mind about which one is your favorite?
    I have seen the buttery recipe before at the CLBB, but to be true to you, I liked the looks of the first cake, it looked very moist!
    Ana

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  2. I'm so happy it is finally apple season, this means I can venture outside after months of being couped up in air conditioning. Both apple bread versions look terrific, how could you pick a favorite?

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  3. Both are beautiful, and look like a delightful way to welcome the cooler Autumn months!

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  4. Yummy. I have so many things on my baking "to try" list that I don't know where to start! And it doesn't help coming over here........... ;)

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  5. Hi Joe! What great ways to put those apples to use! I love apple cakes and loaves of all sorts - so autumn-ish.

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  6. Joe, I am sorry, I just wanted to say that the "Francisco" that commented above was me, Ana from Kitchenspace!
    I was using my husband's laptop when I visited your blog and didn't realize it was working with his loggin.
    Sorry...
    Ana

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  7. Oh, these look awesome! Living in the South, I am so envious of those of you who are experiencing Autumn. We're still stuck with 90 degree temps here!
    I'm going to bake one of these recipes, crank down the a/c, and hope to summon some Fall-ish weather here.

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  8. Ana - I thought that might have been you, but it took me a minute! I still can't decide between the two!

    Ungourmetgal - Me too, we will have to go find other orchards to explore!

    Ellie - Thanks!

    Alysha - I know the feeling!

    Gilly - Thanks!

    Krista - Thanks!

    Rapunzel - Sounds like a good plan to me!

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