Yesterday, while out for a stroll with my Labrador Retriever, I noticed that the leaves were ever so steadily beginning to change colour. There are tiny specks of yellows and oranges amidst the summer greens. It makes me a bit giddy, Autumn is slowly coming (although not fast enough).
I suppose since I was feeling so nostalgic, I felt drawn to bake an apple infused spice tea bread/loaf. You can find inspiration everywhere if you keep an open mind. As a child (yes, a young child at that) you’d often find me in the kitchen at the most bizarre of hours, elbows deep in a mixing bowl and covered in flour. Cooking and competitive figure skating were about my only means of creative expression.
Back to this lovely tea bread. I started with a quick batch of homemade spiced applesauce. You certainly don’t need to make homemade, but I am biased and truly believe it is far better than store-bought. Use whatever you most fancy and have on hand. I prefer my applesauce with some texture, using a potato masher to create just the right consistency. This tea bread is beautifully rich in flavour and spices. Delicious served on it’s own, or with a light spread of butter, it’s absolutely lovely served with an afternoon cup of tea.
Apple Spice Tea Bread
- 4 medium-large apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (you may also use butter or a light olive oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 2 cups whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 2 lb loaf pan with parchment paper, or spray with non-sticking cooking oil.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, spices and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the oil and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until mixed.
- Add the applesauce, milk, yogurt and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, folding in with a wooden spoon. Mix only until moist (clumpy is perfect). Over-mixing will produce a flat, dense loaf.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon topping.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- You may wish to tent the pan with aluminum foil the last 20 minutes to prevent excess browning.
- Let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooking rack to fully cool before slicing.
Notes: I find this tea bread to be most delicious when slightly warmed, it really brings out the infused spices. You could also add 1 cup chopped nuts or dried fruits if you desire.