If it’s October, it’s time to add apples to the menu. This recipe for an apple tea loaf is reminiscent of a traditional Irish apple cake. The brandy adds a little kick and the nuts a bit of crunch. I like to bake it in a stoneware tea loaf pan (12 x 4 x 2 1/2-inches) that creates smaller slices than a traditional full-sized loaf. The tea loaf pan (I bought mine at kingarthurflour.com) holds the same amount as a 9 x 5-inch pan, so you can also use it to bake other quick breads or yeast breads. Baking times will vary if you bake it in the smaller pan. You’ll find other recipes like this in my cookbook Teatime in Ireland; signed copies available at irishcook.com


MAKES 1 LOAF      

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons brandy

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Softened butter, for serving (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a tea loaf pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, oil, and brandy with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until combined; stir in apples and nuts, if using. Transfer to prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 75 to 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen, invert onto rack, and then return to upright. Let cool completely before cutting into slices. Serve spread with butter, if desired.



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