Opinions on the pumpkin spice craze. Go.
Now, I’m a major pumpkin fan. Whether in latte or pancake form, I enjoy indulging in the many spicy, pumpkin-y creations of fall. But to me, there’s an even more important – and oft forgotten – autumnal debut: the apple.
True, apples exist year-round. So what makes them so special now? The fact is, the apples you see in stores throughout the year – the traditional Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Gala – represent only a small fraction of an extensive apple family. And when fall rolls around, the apple varieties rarely seen in other months come to us in full, flavorful force.
Rome Beauty. Empire. Mutsu. Ginger Gold. These are the gems that are available for a short time only – from September through November – in all their fresh, uniquely flavored glory.
In the midst of this bounty, however, it’s important to recognize that not all apples are equal. Some apples are sweet, juicy and perfectly suited for eating. But they’re not good baking apples. Baking apples require a firm structure that can withstand hot cooking temperatures, and they ideally have a slightly tart note to complement the sweetness of baked goods.
Here are a few best-suited apples for your baking needs this season:
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
- Rome Beauty
Of course, once you have the perfect in-season apple in hand, you’ll need a recipe to use it. And if you’re inspired to go beyond the age-old apple pie this season, here is a fantastic recipe to try. It’s a soft, nutty bread that makes a great breakfast or afternoon treat. Especially if you’re looking to shake up the pumpkin spice plethora, this is the way to go!
Apple Walnut Oat Bread
- 1½ cups GF Flour Mix
- ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats, plus extra for decoration
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1½ cups diced, peeled apples*, plus extra slices for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (GF Flour Mix, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, xanthan gum, and salt). In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, applesauce, canola oil, and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking until combined. Fold in the walnuts and apples and mix until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Completely smooth the top with the back of a spatula, and decorate with oats and apple slices, if desired.
- Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let loaf cool 15-20 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
*Choose traditional baking apples, such as Cortland, Honeycrisp, or Rome Beauty.
Serving Size: 1 piece (1/10th of loaf)
Total Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Total Carbohydrate: 37g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
*nutrition facts are estimations