Showing posts with label apples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apples. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Easy Apple Banana Bread #BreadBakers

Easy Apple Banana Bread is a wonderful transition from summer to fall, as our temperatures finally get cool enough to bake without cranking the air conditioner thermostat down to compensate.

You know when you are so fast asleep that the phone rings and you somehow incorporate it into your dream? That was me the other night. My sister called about 1 a.m. to ask if I could come over to stay with her girls because their father was being taken to the medical center for testing. The doctors suspected a blockage in one artery. Well, I didn’t wake up in the four rings it took the answering machine to do its thing so she had to call our mom to go. I felt terrible the next morning when I saw the phone blinking and realized that I had missed the call.

The next day, while he was still being tested, I was charged with picking the girls up from school, so I decided to bake an after school snack for them. There was a change of plans and I ended up not doing the school pick up but I can assure you that this easy apple banana bread makes an excellent after school snack! Or breakfast. Or midmorning coffee break.

In other good news, my brother-in-law is fine and he was released that day. I believe a stent may be in the cards but at least it’s not an emergency situation.

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the pan
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large or 2 small apples
Option for decorating: a light sprinkling of powdered or confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Butter a loaf pan or line it with baking parchment.

Whisk your flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl and set it aside.

In another bowl, use a fork to mash your bananas until they are fairly smooth and pour in the melted butter.

Mix well with the fork until the butter is completely incorporated.

Add in the vanilla and egg and mix well again.

Peel and chop your apple/s finely. Add the apples to the banana bowl and stir well.

Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

Pour the batter into your buttered loaf pan. You can sprinkle on a little extra cinnamon and sugar, if you'd like.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Run a knife around the edges and turn the apple banana loaf out on to the wire rack to cool completely.

Slice with a serrated bread knife to serve.


This month my Bread Bakers group is celebrating fall fruit and vegetables with a plethora of breads, both quick and yeasted. Many thanks to our host, Pavani of Cook's Hideout, for her behind the scenes work.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Pin it!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Apple Bundt #BundtBakers

Light yet full of fruit, this easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt reminds me that bright summer sunshine always fades into sweet cooler autumn. Eventually.

Go ahead, laugh with me. Or at me. I deserve it. I made this cake batter twice in two days because the first time, I completely forgot to add the apples in at the end. Yes, they were all peeled and sliced and chopped and just waiting, ready, but I was so taken by the lovely golden yellow batter that I spooned it right in my prepared baking pan – this Duet Bundt* from Nordic Ware – and popped it in the oven. The timer was 10 minutes down before I realized that the apples and lemon juice were still just sitting there. And I temporarily lost my will to live.

So here’s what I can tell you: If you want a simple vanilla lemon cake that doesn’t need a machine to mix and that would bake up beautifully in a Duet pan, just skip the apple steps.

Today, however, there need to be apples. Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting Bundt Bakers this month and she chose apples as our theme. How could I have forgotten to add the one ingredient I have to use? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Once the apples are added, the batter of this delicious easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt is fluffy from the interaction of the baking soda, sour cream and lemon juice so spoon it carefully into your baking pan. We don’t want to lose any of the air inside.

Ingredients for 5- or 6-cup Bundt
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 apples, depending on size about 170g each (I ended up using 1 1/2 apples)
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
zest 1 lemon
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
3/4 cup or 150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 115g full fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: confectioner’s sugar for decoration

Preheat the oven to 325°F or 163°C. Prepare your 5 or 6 cup Bundt pan by greasing it with butter and coating that with flour.

Zest your lemon and then squeeze the juice into a small mixing bowl, being careful to remove all of the seeds.

Cut the apples in half, core and peel them. Slice them as thinly as you can, then give the whole pile of slices a couple of rough chops. The point here is that we don’t mind some larger pieces, but they should all be thin so they cook faster.  Make sense?

Put the cut apples into the lemon juice bowl and stir well. The acid in the lemon juice will help stop the apples from turning brown as you get on with the rest of the recipe.

Measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter, eggs, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla.

Beat well with a whisk, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Resist the urge to eat it. (It’s so good!)

Fold in the chopped apples along with the lemon juice.

Spoon the batter into your prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven. Check it occasionally and if the top begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with some foil.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before attempting to remove the cakes from the pan.

Once completely cool, you can add a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar, if desired.


Do you love to bake with apples? You are sure to add to your list of favorites when you see what my fellow Bundt Bakers have created this month!


BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Pin Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Apple Bundt!

   *Amazon affiliate link.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sausage Apple Onion Tart #FridayPieDay

The apples and sausages go together beautifully, as pork and apples are wont to do, with the lovely added flavor of baked onions, in a crisp, golden puff pastry crust.  

The beauty of pies and tarts is that they can be sweet or savory. If you aren’t much of a dessert person, you can still enjoy a delicious pie, just add some sausage or salami. This month’s Friday Pie Day tart makes the perfect brunch, lunch or dinner fare and the ingredients are easily changed out for whatever you might have on hand.

I started by making my rough puff pastry recipe, or rather, I should say, Gordon Ramsey’s rough puff pastry recipe, cut off a little more than half and wrapped up the rest and popped it in the freezer. If you haven’t attempted rough puff before, I recommend you try it. It’s easy and way less work that actual puff pastry. In a pinch, of course, you can use store-bought puff pastry.

1 green apple (for example, Granny Smith)
2 teaspoons canola or other light oil
2 medium purple onions
6 fat sausages (about 14 oz or 400g)
A few fresh tender sprigs thyme – or leaves off of older sprigs
12 1/3 oz or 350g rough puff pastry dough from this recipe
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with baking parchment or a silicone liner.

Cut the apple in half, core it and cut it into thin slices, discarding the very end pieces that are all peel. Toss the apple slices in a medium sized bowl, with the oil to stop them turning brown.

Peel the onions, cut them in half and then slices them into thin wedges.

Toss them in the bowl with the apples.

Add the thyme sprigs, ripped into smaller pieces.

Cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife of a pair of scissors. Mix the pieces in with the apples and onions.

Roll out your rough puff pastry into a large rectangle and trim the edges to make sure it will puff up successfully.

Gently score a line all the way around the inside with the tip of a sharp knife. This will be your puffy, crunchy crust, so don’t be skimpy with the margin.

Spread your mustard all over inside the scored line.

Tip the sausage, apple and onion onto the pastry and arrange it as evenly as possible all the way out to the scored line.

It's a pretty tall pile but it will bake down, I promise.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the sausage pieces are cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting.


This sausage apple onion tart is my contribution to this month's Friday Pie Day, the brilliant creation of Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. (Formerly girlichef.)

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple Crumb Quick Bread #BreadBakers

Tart apples and lemon juice brighten up a crisp Autumn day when they are baked into a sweet quick bread that fills your whole house with the aroma of baked cinnamon apples. Nothing better!

You know how people used to do their colors? Well, I think we can categorize our general lives in the same sort of way. I am definitely a summer person. I want beach and water and sand and surf. A day out at the beach or on a boat, preferably one that moves along smartly, is the best day! But I do have an appreciation for the beauty of fall.

This month my Bread Bakers group is using fall flavors to welcome the coming of the new season. Our air is hardly crisp in Dubai, but temperatures are mercifully starting to fall, even if it’s just a little. I had a bit of reprieve last week though, because I was in the States to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. The trees in Texas and Louisiana were just starting to turn and the weather was sweet. Sunny days and slightly cooler nights and early mornings. Just perfect for baking bread, don’t you think?

Is there anything that beats the smell of bread in the oven? Yeast or quick bread, sweet or savory, it really doesn’t matter. But when you add apples and cinnamon, the delightfulness of the aroma expands ten-fold.

This recipe is adapted from one on Cube 5107.

For the bread batter:
2 Granny Smith or other tart green apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups or 250g flour
1 cup or 200g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 125g sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
1/4 cup or 32g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and line a normal bread pan with baking parchment or grease it well with non-sticking baking spray.

Put your lemon juice in a small bowl.

Core, peel and finely dice your apples and put the pieces in the lemon juice and stir well as you go along.

In a small bowl, mix together your all your ingredients for the crumb topping, except the butter.

Cut the butter into pieces and work them into the dry mixture with two knives or a pastry blender. You are trying to make something that looks like very coarse sand but with the occasional small butter lump still.

Add a good handful of your apple pieces to the crumb topping and mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Add the rest of the apples pieces to the dry ingredients and stir to coat.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Pour your liquid ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined.

Spoon the thick batter into your prepared bread pan.

Spread the crumb topping out over the batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are a thermometer user, the internal temperature should reach 200°F or 94°C.

Cool in the bread pan for about 10 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack.


Many thanks to our Bread Baker host this month, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. Are you ready for fall weather and fall flavors?

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Apple Butter #BloggerCLUE

Low slow cooking transforms apples and a little sugar into apple butter by evaporating most of the juice until it creates a smooth, luscious spread that is concentrated appleness personified. And, despite its name, is completely dairy free.

It’s Blogger C.L.U.E. time again, when I get assigned a blog to hunt through to look for recipes which fill September’s “clue” or theme: fall fruit. I’m not ready for pumpkin yet (Is pumpkin even a fruit?) and frankly I’m not a fan of pears so I was hoping that A Mama, Baby and Shar-Pei in the Kitchen would have some apple recipes. I was not disappointed.

The eponymous mama behind the blog is Alice who is a fellow expat, living first in England – before I knew her so I had some catching up to do – then back in the US for a few years, and now she is making a home in Japan. Sadly, her first child, the Shar-pei, is no longer in the kitchen but over the years one baby became two so I am sure her household is just as crazy.

I had a hard time choosing from Alice’s many apple recipes. Tipsy apple pie with rum or her Ever American apple pie? Both looked delicious. Or baked Apple-y Donut Holes? Alice lived for many years in Washington state so she is really, really fond of apples. I was so tempted by her homemade apple chips and her apple cheddar scones as well, but as you can see, I finally settled on apple butter, which Alice makes in a crockpot.

Her original recipe calls for 30-60 apples so I scaled mine back to a more manageable level, but it is so good that next time I just might go all in! Oh, and I also added some lemon just to add a little more tartness because I used only Red Delicious instead of a mix of apples and I subbed ground ginger for cloves and allspice.

1/4 cup or 60ml fresh lemon juice
11 apples - about 4 1/2 lbs or 2 kg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup or 200g sugar

Pour your lemon juice into the crockpot.

Peel, core and slice your apples, putting all the sliced bits in the crockpot as you go.

Give it a stir every now and then to mix the apples through the lemon juice.

Add in your spices and sugar and mix well. Alice’s instructions said to cook on medium for 10 hours, stirring occasionally, then turn to low but my crockpot only has two settings - low and high - so I put it on low. She also said that if the apples are cooking down too fast or burning to turn it to low so I figured low was better than high if you only have two choices.

I started a little late in the morning so I turned my crockpot on about 11 a.m. stirring the apples every hour or two all day long. By 9 p.m. that evening, they had cooked down and softened but they certainly weren’t anywhere near apple butter or even applesauce. So, following Alice’s advice, I left them on low overnight.

It was glorious the next morning to wake up to a whole house still smelling of apples and cinnamon. I used my whisk to break the apples down completely into sauce; they were still quite juicy though. You can use an immersion blender, as Alice did, but I found the whisk worked beautifully since the apples were already so soft.

Leave them on low for another few hours, with one change of method. Every time you take the lid off to stir the crockpot, use a dry cloth to wipe the condensation off of the inside of the lid, rather than letting it run back into the pot, which is what I had been doing.

Could I have turned the crockpot up to high at any point in this process to speed things up? Sure, probably so, but I enjoyed the leisurely stirring and the completely relaxed, no stress method more. Because even if I was just reading a book or watching tv, I was being productive! Most importantly, I had time to take a few photos of a spectator outside my kitchen window. I've been reliably informed that he's a bee-eater but he also seems to eat other bugs and ants, bringing them all up to the windowsill and knocking them on the concrete to remove stingers and extract venom.

At the 24-hour mark, I ladled the hot, thick apple butter into sterilized jars. You should do the same to yours as soon as they reach a consistency you like. Remember that the apple butter will thicken up a little more as it cools.

Aside from peeling, coring and slicing the apples, this apple butter feels almost effortless and the full jars make that time spent well worthwhile. Thanks, Alice!

Enjoy your apple butter spread on buttered toast or stirred through some plain yogurt. It also makes a great filling for tarts!

Are you ready for fall fruit? Check out all the lovely recipes my fellow Blogger C.L.U.E. participants are sharing today.