I do not know what it is about this time of year that I just cannot get enough of it. I cannot think of one thing about autumn that I dislike. The clear crisp mornings, starry nights, geese flying over head and the many, many smells of the season will draw a deep contented sigh from me every time.
I feel myself following in the footsteps of my ancestors with the fall harvest by storing and preparing food for my family and readying the home and hearth for the long winter ahead. Just the smell of apples and cinnamon alone can invoke wonderful memories of family gatherings long past.
This is by far one of my family’s favorite recipes:
Apple Bread w/ Crumb Topping
4 Cu. peeled, cored and chopped apples (I like Granny Smith, or any other tart apple)
4 large eggs slightly beaten
1 Cu. vegetable oil (canola works)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Cu. all purpose flour
2 Cu. granulated white sugar
¾ Cu. all purpose flour
¼ Cu. granulated white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ Cu. room temperature butter (1 stick)
Directions for bread:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour two standard loaf pans and set aside. Peel, core and slice or chop the apples. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and beat until completely combined. Next, add the flour and sugar mix on low until combined then on high until smooth. The batter will be thick. Fold in the apples mixing by hand. Divide the batter between the two prepared bread pans.
Directions for topping:
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture with a fork or a pastry blender if you have one. Sprinkle equal amounts of the topping on each pan of bread batter. Bake for about 1 hour on the center oven rack. The loaf should be firm to the touch when done if it is not bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remember all ovens are different. Remove the pans from the oven when done and let them cool on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before removing the bread from the pans. Wait for the bread to cool completely before slicing into slices…if you can.