Apple Walnut Quick Breads

As our guests walked in through our front door last Friday at 4, one of them said, “Hmm…., apple?” as he tried to pinpoint the aroma he was catching in the air.  I immediately thought, “Yikes.  Missed the mark.  He’s an apple guy, not a pumpkin one,” since I had made pumpkin scones instead.  But I bravely piped up with, “No…, pumpkin.  You get settled in, then come on down and try them.”  The settling didn’t take long — (I think they were reeeally hungry for the scones I had promised them the night before when the reservation had been made) — so down they sat in front of the scones.  “Ymmm.”  “Yes!”  I thought, “A pumpkin convert!”  2 whole pumpkin scones later (and my scones are not small), I was certain of it.

However, our guest’s question had gotten me thinking…….I really did want to make something with fresh apples.  As enamoured as I have become with those pumpkin scones, it was really past time for an apple-something.  Besides, it had been a while since I had made applesauce and my apples were beginning to pile up.  (I take the left-over ones from the baskets in the rooms after each check-out and put them back in the fridge for when I can “recycle” them.)  So.  Yesterday, as it turned out, was Recycling Day…..yielding small apple walnut bread loaves.  I made them with our Holiday Open House Weekend in mind–they’ll be in the Holiday Hostess Gift Baskets that will be on sale, along with our Gift Certificates–but who knows when one of them might pop up somewhere?  (Like if you were to drop in unexpectedly one day….)

In preparation for my apple-something, I got out my recipe box to hunt for a forgotten recipe.  And voila!  There it was!  I had gotten this recipe years ago (maybe the girls were still small) when we received a Christmas gift containing special extracts and spices.  I had made it then, loved it, then squirreled away the recipe and forgotten it.  But yesterday, when I saw the title and the look of the paper, I remembered.  I knew immediately which recipe it was, and knew that this was the one for me for the day!  I think it is the almond extract that makes the difference.  See what you think!

                                                 Apple Walnut Quick Bread

4 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped

4 large eggs

1 c butter

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tsp pure almond extract

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3 c flour (Sorry to all our gluten-free readers, but please try substitutes and let me know how they turn out!)

2 c sugar

1 c broken walnuts

350 degree oven  — lightly greased pans –Beat eggs with electric mixer till fluffy.  Add butter.  Beat till combined.  Add rest of ingredients (sans flour and sugar) and beat till blended.  Add flour and sugar.  Batter will be extremely thick.  I did this part by hand.  Then add apples & walnuts.  Spoon into prepared pans.  Bake for an hour, if a regular loaf pan is used.  This recipe yields 2 of those loaves, or several mini loaves.