Apple Walnut Bread with Rum-Soaked Raisins

Now is the time of year when you want just a little something extra with that morning coffee or afternoon tea. This bread (okay, okay, it’s really a cake,) which is best made a day ahead, fits that bill. It’s filled with sweet-tart apples, slightly crunchy walnuts and the chew of a good raisin. It doesn’t require any exotic ingredients and your kitchen will smell wonderful as it bakes. What more could you ask for? Oh, yes, it would be a nice change on your Thanksgiving table from cornbread or biscuits!

apple walnut bread

Apple Walnut Bread with Rum-Soaked Raisins adapted from Beard on Bread  

Yield: One 9 x 5 inch loaf

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature plus more for the pan

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the pan

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups, peeled, cored and diced apples (I used MacIntosh)

1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

2 Tablespoons dark rum

Zest of one lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and sugar a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, preferably non-stick.
  2. In a small microwaveable dish, add the raisins and rum. Heat on high in the microwave for 20 seconds. Remove the bowl and cover with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes.   apples, raisins and walnuts
  3. Toss the apples, walnuts, drained raisins and lemon zest with about 1-2 Tablespoons of the flour. This will keep everything from sinking to the bottom.
  4. Using a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir through.
  6. Mix the remaining flour with the salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda and add slowly to the eggs and butter mixture, stirring well.
  7. Stir the apples, drained raisins, lemon zest and chopped walnuts through the batter by hand. The ending batter will be very chunky.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens vary so if it takes a little longer, then it takes a little longer.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once the bread is completely cool, wrap it tightly in foil overnight to allow the flavors to mature. For best flavor, zap in the microwave for about 10-12 seconds. The bread will continue to get moister as it ages and the flavors will become more intense.
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