26 March 2009

Apple Pecan Bread

En français ici.
My high school French teacher, who I am still in touch with (funny what friends one keeps from high school), came to Paris last week with a group of students from my old school. It was fun to see him and strange to think that I'd been on that same trip nine years ago (now all the students seemed intimidated by me!). But my french teacher and I don't only share a passion for French; we also both love to cook and being the thoughtful person he is, he brought me these wonderful presents from the States:

As you can imagine, I put them to good use immediately, making a pecan version of these brown sugar muffins. Once those were all eaten up, I got to thinking what else I could be baking. For weeks and weeks and weeks in my CSA, I've been getting apples. I guess they're the only fruit that lasts through the winter, but they've been getting less fresh as the season goes on and they're really best for cooking. D. made a delicious apple/apricot tart this week, but there were still apples leftover. So I decided to make this apple pecan bread.

Many apple bread recipes that I looked at were written for 2 loaves. I only have one loaf pan so I had to adapt. For those of you who live in small apartments or just don't have multiple loaf pans, this is for you.

D. insisted this was the best bread in the whole world and I have to say, it's pretty darn yummy. I'll be making more of it ASAP.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups diced apples (about 1 large or 2 small)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (plus 10-12 pecans, chopped, for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 325F/170C. In a small bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, white and brown sugar and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Fold in the apples and pecans and spoon the batter into a well-greased loaf pan.

Here, I toasted a few extra chopped pecans with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar in a dry pan on medium heat and topped the apple bread with it. This makes for a deliciously sweet, crunchy crust and I highly recommend it.

Put in the oven and bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack (so the bottom doesn't get soggy as it cools).


Cicero Sings said...

Sounds and looks very yummy. I had a similar recipe years ago. We don't need just one loaf ... we need two slices!!! The older one gets the less capacity one has ... darn old waistlines anyway!

Glad your teacher/friend brought you over such necessary staples.

Sam said...

It's thing I like apples because I'm getting them every week in my veg box too! This looks like the perfect way to use them up.

Hopie said...

Cicero - Thanks. For a while I've had my eyes on a cookbook called Small Batch Baking, for when you want to bake for only 1 or 2 people. Maybe you would like something like that!

Sam - I definitely recommend it!

Ivy said...

I love pecans much more than walnuts and I can't get them only in one big supermarket. I would like to try this recipe with apples when I get my hands on some. It sounds great.

Psychgrad said...

What a nice gift! Very neat to still have a connection to your high school teacher.

The bread looks delicious. Definitely puts the gifts to good use

giz said...

What a nice teacher - there's always one in our lives that makes a positive impression that lasts a lifetime. I think you found yours. I'm sure he's totally thrilled that you put it to good use.

Katie said...


1. that trip was nine years ago?! dear god.
2. AWWW HOW IS STEVE? that's so great you got to see each other.

Anonymous said...

Made this in muffin form this morning. They are, in a word, totallyawesome.

Hopie said...

Ivy - I know. I like walnuts, but pecans are extra special!

Psychgrad - Thank you! It was the perfect gift.

Giz - Indeed. Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world I think. A teacher can really help you change and grow (or the opposite!).

Katie - 1. YES. dear god.
2. Steve's good! It was awesome to see him. I think our group was the worst he ever had so we had fond flashbacks ;-)

Camille - That's a good word to describe it ;-) Yay, I'm glad you liked them! I'll have to try as muffins.

Tony said...

I want some!!!!

Hopie said...

Tony - Ok sure, come on over ;-)