Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apple Ginger Bread

It is the peak of fall which means there has been a lot of baking with apples going on around here.  Scones, pies and bread have been coming out of the oven in the past few weeks.


 Everything has been very yummy, but this bread has been has been the family favorite.


I used a combination of shredded and diced apples.  This makes a moist bread with soft juicy chunks scattered throughout which is the perfect contrast for the crunchy Streusel topping. The addition of crystallized ginger gives a wonderful sweet heat.  Mixed with the tang of the cranberries and the nutty pecans it is a perfectly sweet, spicy fall bread.



Apple Ginger Bread Adapted from mybakingaddiction.com 
Yield: 1 loaf        Prep Time : 30 minutes                 Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

Batter:
½  cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup milk
2 tsp.  apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. apple pie spice (see below)
½ tsp. salt
2 cups peeled, shredded apples*
1 apple, peeled and diced
¾ cup chopped pecans
½ cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. chopped candied ginger

Streusel Topping:
¼ cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp.  all-purpose flour
¼ tsp.  apple pie spice (see below)
2 Tbsp.  unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9x5x3- inch loaf pan with cooking spray, line bottom with parchment paper.    Set aside.
2.       In medium bowl sift flour, apple pie spice and salt together.  Set aside. 
3.       In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and sugars.  Mix until light and fluffy.  Add the buttermilk, vinegar and baking powder, mix until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix until incorporated.  Slowly add flour mixture, mix on low until just combined.  Fold in apples, pecans, cranberries and ginger.  Pour in to prepared pan, spread evenly.  Set aside while preparing Streusel topping.
4.       For Streusel topping.  In small bowl combine sugar, flour and apple pie spice, stir to combine.   Cut in butter until mixture resembles small pebbles, stir in pecans. 
5.       Sprinkle Streusel topping over the batter, gently pressing it into the batter.
6.       Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
7.       Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Cool completely on wire rack

Wrap tightly and - if you can wait – store overnight before slicing and serving, this give the flavors a chance to blend and enhances the taste. 

* Two cups is about 4 apples.  Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples are recommended.   For additional texture dice one apple and shred the remaining 3 apples. 


Apple Pie Spice

5 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground ginger

In small bowl combine all ingredients, stir until thoroughly combined.  Store in an airtight container. 

*this is a great spice mixture for all of your fall baking.  It also makes a wonderful gift when stored in a decorative spice jar or container.