Recently, I baked a large batch of an autumn-filled muffin for our friends at church. Once baked, the muffins were much more crumbly than I had hoped, and difficult to stay together, so I threw the remaining batter into a couple of loaf pans and voila! we had moist and delicious loaf breads.

I adapted the recipe from one of my very favorite baking books, which a dear friend of mine just picked up and her talking about it has put me back in the baking from it on a regular basis again! (Thanks, D!) (This is their second cookbook, and if you love to bake, you need to get yourself a copy, or put it on your Christmas list. The results, in my opinion, are always delicious. Not to mention, one of the most darling bakeries I ever did see; which we thankfully got to visit during our drive through Savannah a couple months back.) I omitted the pepper that is originally called for and obviously, (mostly) made loaves instead of the muffins. I used honeycrisp apples, which are one of the most tasty apples to bake with or munch on, if you like tart and crisp apples. Some friends of ours who are from the Bay Area shared it with us and we all decided we would call it Apple Hill Crumble Bread (which I’ve shortened below). It reminded us of all the times spent at Apple Hill, a California gem, and the juiciness of the fresh apples off the trees being sold in the farm stands.

Here is what I did below. The next time I make this, I will be sure to pair it with an allspice ice cream this time of year.

APPLE HILL LOAF. (adapted slightly from Back in the Day Bakery: Made with Love).

½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped (you can use any nut you desire here)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

3 cups of your favorite baking apple, cut into small cubes (I used honeycrisp)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp angostura bitters
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ whole milk
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F

Butter a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper, then lightly butter the parchment paper. (When loaf is cooled the parchment paper lifts the loaf out easily without bits being stuck to the bottom of the pan.) Or if making muffins, line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

First, make the streusel. You will need to combine the two sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour and nuts. Add cubed butter and with your fingertips, or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until small pea-size clumps form. Set streusel aside.

Next, take your cubed apples and toss with the lemon juice and the angostura bitters and set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

Whisk eggs, milk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix till just combined, being careful not to overmix. Gently fold in the apple mixture, till thoroughly distributed, but not overmixing as you will get a tough loaf.

Fill your loaf pan with the prepared batter. Top generously with the streusel. Bake for 40-50 minutes, checking periodically to be sure the middle is cooked through and a skewer comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack until you can’t wait any longer to cut into. Enjoy!

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