Pumpkin puree and finely chopped apple slices keep this bread naturally moist, while cinnamon and cloves give it that classic, comforting taste and aroma. What better way to savor fall than to bake with apple and pumpkin? And it is a bonus to have a bread that is sweet enough to be considered a treat, yet wholesome enough to be considered a hearty, healthy snack. The recipe makes two loaves, so keep one loaf and give the other away, or keep both loaves!
I adapted this recipe from one I found in my Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. Since I did not have quite as much pumpkin puree as the recipe called for, I added some chopped apple slices to make up the difference, and the combination is delicious. It is a very mild bread, and my husband, who is not a huge fan of a strong pumpkin flavor, prefers this adaptation. My kids love it too, as do some of their friends (I often pack extra in their lunches so they can share).This past few days the weather has really turned, and it has been chilly and breezy outside. It is dark earlier in the evenings, and dark when I take the kids to school in the mornings. Suddenly the inside of the home becomes more appealing, and we spend more time inside. We crave cozy things like baking bread, hot tea and blankets, soft lamps and candles. I get to wear my favorite rain boots out and about, and tromp around in the woods taking pictures of the colorful leaves before they fall, and as they fall.
I was leafing through a cookbook the other day and saw a recipe for ice pops. When I saw it, I realized how far away summer seems now! Instead of dreaming up fun flavor combinations for homemade ice pops, after a busy day spent going all kinds of different directions, nowadays we are sitting down in the evenings with a cup of hot tea. Even my kids are getting into drinking herbal tea, and I love using that as an excuse to drink a cup with them and try to find out what’s going on in their lives, though I don’t think I ever really find out as much as I’d like to. This pumpkin apple bread goes perfectly with tea, by the way.
Pumpkin Apple Bread
- 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 and 2/3 cups of white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree (if you prefer to use all pumpkin and no apple, just use 2 cups of pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 cup of apple, peeled and finely chopped
- 2/3 cup of water
- 3 and 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add them to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pumpkin, chopped apple, and water. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Stir with a fork until well combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the pumpkin mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in the nuts, if you are using them.
Pour the batter into the greased loaf pans, distributing the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake in your 350-degree oven for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then gently turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from one found in Hollyhocks & Radishes by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.