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 with Rum-Soaked Raisins adapted from Beard on Bread
Yield: One 9 x 5 inch loaf
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
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and sugar a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, preferably non-stick.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir through.
- Mix the remaining flour with the salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda and add slowly to the eggs and butter mixture, stirring well.
- Stir the apples, drained raisins, lemon zest and chopped walnuts through the batter by hand. The ending batter will be very chunky.
- 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.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 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.