We have a wonderful huge old Gravenstein apple tree in our front yard, that drops apples pre-harvest. I remember the apples falling off the tree last year, and I was not sure what caused them to do that. I was speaking to a local farmer, one Thursday during market, who informed me that Gravenstein trees grow apples in clusters and they require spot picking. If you do not thin the clusters early on, they will thin themselves. Because we have not thinned the tree this season, we have lots of juicy apples falling from our tree daily.
Since we have been home from our vacation, I have been picking more than ten apples off the ground every day, and trying to use as much of them as I can. Sometimes I cut them up and stir them into some fresh squeezed orange juice, to prevent browning, and then toss them in the freezer in a freezer baggie. I can picture the future of these apples, being baking into lovely cakes, crisps, tarts, bread puddings, and pies. They would also be delicious paired with potatoes and onions, in a rustic stew, or soup, not to mention cooking them down a bit and making a chunky or smooth apple sauce, or apple butter. I just got a food dehydrator from a Freecycler, and maybe I will try my hand at making some apple fruit leather.
Today, as I was cutting up a few fallen apples for my girls to snack on, and I was thinking about baking. Even though it was going to be super hot today, the morning was very pleasant and I though it would be nice to bake my girls a healthy snack. I grated one of the apples, I had picked up an hour before, tossed it in 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice. I had two small bananas in my hanging basket, that were just ripe, that would be perfect in my fresh apple banana bread.
This apple bread reminds me of a restaurant in Napa, California called ABC Bakery. They serve the most delicious, moist, fresh apple cake I have ever eaten. Their apple cake has chunks of apples throughout, and the spices are subtle. They also bake an apricot pistachio cake that is truly, yet unbelievably amazing.
When I was pregnant with Georgia, I remember craving the apricot pistachio cake, and having to go and get a slice with Marjie. As you have probably already read, Marjie loves cake, and I am sure we thoroughly enjoyed sharing the sublime cake that day. I have a feeling Georgia loved it too. Alexis Baking Company also makes fantastic hot coffee, and well as coffee cubes for their iced coffee, which is a really brilliant idea, that has sadly not caught on yet in Oregon.
Next time I make this bread, I will use chunks instead of grated apple, and will let you know how it turns out. Enjoy this bread as is, or toasted with cream cheese or butter and your favorite jam.
|Fresh Apple Banana Bread|
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