Friday, October 3, 2014

Swoon For this Apple Fritter Loaf

I saw a recipe online for "Pull Apart Apple Fritter Bread"; I even posted it on Facebook. It looked and sounded absolutely wonderful . . . except for the fact that it used one of those tubes of store-bought biscuits. I used to really love those biscuits, but as time went on, I began to react badly to the amount of sodium in most pre-packaged foods. This catapulted me even farther into the creed of "make everything from scratch" myself. I was already mostly there, after learning to cook in Guatemala in the 1970s, when there were no frozen foods, very few canned foods and almost nothing else pre-packaged. Returning to the States I reveled (for a while) in all the bounty of foods available. Once the reaction to sodium set in, I tried to stick to using foods where I could read the labels.

My Apple Fritter Loaf, ready to serve

The kind of recipe calling for one of those tubes of biscuits would be completely out, for me. I saw other recipes where a cake of a sort was used, mixing in the apples and sugar. This sounded better. I have one recipe for Luscious Bundt Coffee Cake that is just my most favorite. Unfailingly tender and moist and packed with flavor, I used a modified version of this recipe to create my own Apple Fritter Loaf.

To define "Apple Fritter," I mean the ones sold in many grocery bakeries, some gas stations and various other places. Those irregular lumps of fried goodness, with little apple bits and cinnamon, and drenched in glaze. Yum! I used to love eating those things! I even found a recipe that sounded like it might just come out like those store bought apple fritters, too. However, the catch is that I absolutely abhor deep frying. I do not abhor the results! I love French fries, apple fritters, and once in a great while, fried chicken. I just hate the mess of grease that spatters and fills the air, coating everything in a sticky film. And cleaning up afterwards, with the spent oil. I never know what to do with it. So I just do not deep fry anything at all. One of my foibles, I guess. 

Apples given to me today
Last Fall I was given so many apples I didn't know what to do with them all. I used my peeler/corer/slicer and made bags and bags of apples to freeze for either pie or my Best Apple Crisp, Ever. I bagged some smaller amounts for other uses like the Butternut Squash and Apple Soup recipe I posted yesterday and this Apple Fritter Loaf. Aside from my Best Apple Crisp, Ever recipe, I have never found any apple recipe that came close to that goodness . . .until now. I will most certainly be making this recipe again, and really soon, too. It is apple season right now, and I just received my first bag of apples today. A couple of these will go into my next batch. I took the loaf I made yesterday to a luncheon today. I had not tasted it, so I was really praying this experiment was a good one. It would be excellent as a breakfast or brunch item, or as a dessert at any time.

I needn't have worried; it was most spectacularly fantastic. Best of all, though I grant you I have not had a store bought apple fritter for years now - this loaf tasted like those apple fritters in my memory. Here is what I did:

Apple Fritter Loaf

makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf; 8 to 12 slices


2 cups apples, peeled, cored, chopped very small
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
milk or cream to make a not-too thick glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convection). Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. I lined the pan with parchment, though I believe it was not needed. Still, insurance!

In a small bowl, combine the apples with the 2 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix well and set aside.

In another small bowl, combine the sugar topping ingredients and set aside.

Make exaggerated figure-8s in the batter with a table knife
In another bowl, whisk together the first 4 cake ingredients and set aside. In a mixer bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined, and then add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Pour in the dry ingredients in about 3 batches, mixing well after each addition.

This batter is relatively thick. Using a spatula or a large spoon, place about half the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it to the edges. Top this evenly with half the apple mixture. Place bits of the remaining cake batter on top of the apples and smooth as well as possible. Top evenly with the remaining apple mixture. 
Hot from the oven with half the glaze

Now sprinkle the Sugar Topping over top of the apples. With a table knife or icing spatula, make exaggerated figure eights all along the loaf, letting the knife touch bottom. This swirls the topping as well as the apples all through the cake, giving the apple fritter look and consistency. Bake the loaf for 50 to 60 minutes. It should test done with a toothpick or knife just as with any cake. 

While loaf is baking, mix together the Glaze ingredients. Once out of the oven, drizzle the hot loaf with half the glaze, allowing it to soak in, as shown at right. Save the remaining glaze for when the loaf has cooled completely and drizzle it over top.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.