This may be a little off-season, but I recently read an article about quick bread and I thought to myself, “yuuummmmm, caramel apples.”
I always want foods off-season. Candy corn in July, Jelly Beans at Christmas time, caramel apples in the spring…
Don’t ask me what caramel apples had to do with quick bread when the idea popped into my brain….I really don’t know. But I made it work!
This is an easy quick bread that tastes like a sweet but wholesome treat on its own, but like a decadent caramel apple dessert when topped with brown butter glaze.
Start with butter. I tend to use the unsalted kind, but believe me when I say that for this recipe…it doesn’t really matter!
Brown the butter. Browning the butter is key. It will get nutty and rich and give your bread that slight caramel undertone. And it will make your house smell divine which will make your mouth water dangerously. Swallow hard. Do not eat all the browned butter straight out of the pan. You’ll have to start all over again and it will just be that much longer before you get to eat the finished bread!
Just toss it in a small sauce pan over low heat. It will foam up and sputter and generally make an angry mess of your stove. Then it will mellow out and begin to get toasty and delicious. Watch it closely once it stops foaming. Burned butter is a crime and a cryin’ shame.
When the butter is brown, set it aside in the pan to cool a bit. While its cooling, mix together the dry ingredients.
You’ll need flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. I would have liked to use brown sugar in addition to the white sugar to intensify the caramel flavor, but I didn’t have any. *Sigh.* Brown sugar would have been divine.
Next, begin mixing the wet ingredients. You’ll need eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla…
and the browned butter!
Add the butter in a slow stream with the mixer running on medium low, just in case it is still warm enough to cook the eggs at all.
Beat it all on medium low until creamy.
Next, mix in 2 peeled and diced apples. Use something with a little tartness–like Granny Smith or Mcintosh. Just mix on low long enough to incorporate the apples so they don’t mush up into apple sauce. The chunks are nice in the finished bread.
Add the dry to the wet, and combine it all gently.
Then pour it into a well buttered bread pan and bake at 350° for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in it comes out clean.
The “well buttered” part of that step is important. There’s nothing sadder than a loaf of bread that comes out of the pan in sections. This I know from experience. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And if it comes out in sections, how will you ever glaze it? And if you don’t glaze the bread….
I can’t think about this any more!
Oh my. Hello.
Leave the bread to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then turn it out onto a baking rack and let it cool the rest of the way. Don’t glaze it too soon, or the glaze will half melt into the bread and end up looking like country gravy instead of delicious caramely glaze. This I also know from experience. Not that country gravy isn’t delicious and decadent, it just isn’t delicious and decadent in a Caramel Apple Bread kind of way.
Now, at this point I got lazy. I made the glaze, but I *gasp!* didn’t take any pictures. You’ll get the gist of it though.
Brown three more tablespoons of butter and cool slightly. Stir in 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 2 tbsp milk or cream, and just a pinch of salt. (I always add salt to my sweet. It Maketh It Thweeter.)
Beat it all until smooth and spread over the cooled bread.
See those lovely bits of apple? I can’t do it justice with words.
Eat with a big glass of milk, and be happy!
Here’s some measurements for ya:
Caramel Apple Bread
1/2 C. butter
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. sugar (or 1/2 C. white sugar and 1/4 C. Brown sugar, if you have it)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C. Greek yogurt (I’m sure you could just use ordinary plain yogurt–the Greek stuff was just what I always seem to have on hand)
1 tsp vanilla
2 diced apples
Preheat oven to 350º and thoroughly butter a standard loaf pan.
Brown the butter over low heat in a small sauce pan. Set aside to cool. Mix the flour, sugar (or sugars), baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs, yogurt and vanilla on medium low until combined. Beat in browned, cooled butter (try pouring it down the side of your mixer bowl with the mixer running if you are worried that it is still to warm for the eggs.) Mix in the apples, then combine the wet ingredients with the dry.
Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, the turn out onto a rack and let cool completely. Wait to make the glaze until right before you use it.
3 tbsp. browned butter
1/2 C. confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tbsp cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Let the butter cool before adding the remaining ingredients. Beat all together until smooth. Pour over cooled Caramel Apple Bread. Let set for about 15 minutes before slicing. Eat and be happy!