When life gives you apples, bake an applesauce loaf. That’s what I did when my fridge was inundated with juicy, red fruit. It’s the cold season and I have a hankering for spiced treats, both sweet and savoury. This applesauce loaf is a rustic,farmhouse-style bake and is wonderful for breakfast,warmed with a pat of butter accompanied by a steaming mug of coffee.
How to make the applesauce
Making applesauce is simplicity itself. Chopped apples, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, some sugar and water are left to cook on low heat for 30 minutes till the fruit breaks down into golden, aromatic, juicy mush. Eat it with a spoon, spread it on warm, buttered toast, plonk it on vanilla ice cream; explore all the creative ways to eat it. It keeps in the fridge for a week, ten days, so you can make a big batch if you wish. Cook the applesauce in advance and bake the loaf when it suits you.
Baking with whole grain flours
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I try to bake with whole grain flours. And sometimes it works out better than it does at other times. I baked this applesauce loaf with 3 kinds of flour – whole wheat, sorghum and oat. The result was a fibre-rich loaf with lots of texture. When baking with whole grain flours, rest the batter in the loaf tin for 10 minutes before you put it in the oven. This allows the flours to hydrate properly and yield a moist crumb.
The reduced gluten makes for a crumbly loaf so add 2 beaten eggs, or 2 flax eggs (click here on how to make flax eggs) to help bind it. If you go with flax eggs, wait for the loaf to cool completely before you slice. This applesauce loaf recipe is very flexible and forgiving, so if you prefer baking it using 100 percent all-purpose flour or substituting it for a part of the flour mix, that is fine too. Also, if you like, bake with melted butter in place of olive oil.
This applesauce loaf bakes for 50 minutes so the batter shouldn’t be too dry. Don’t hesitate to add a couple of tbsps of water or milk to the batter if you feel it’s too dry. This is more likely to happen if you’re using whole grain flours. It’s not easy to mess up this recipe so go ahead and tailor it to your taste.
For the applesauce
- 500 g ripe, sweet apples such as Gala or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored and chopped
- 125 ml water
- 80 g brown sugar
- 2½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
For the applesauce loaf
- 95 g whole wheat flour
- 95 g sorghum (jowar) flour
- 95 g oat flour (ground rolled oats)
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 5 tbsps water (or 2 eggs beaten)
- 270 ml applesauce
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 20 g caster sugar
- 45 g olive or sunflower oil (or 55g melted butter or margarine)
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp soda bicarb
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 70 g raisins
- 55 g walnuts, chopped
- 70 ml water
To make the applesauce
- Put the chopped apples, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the apples are really soft.
- Add the cinnamon powder and cook for a further 10-12 minutes till most of the water has evapourated. Turn off the heat and and mix in the lemon juice. Then puree the apples in a blender or mash with a spoon/fork for a more chunky applesauce. Cool and store in the fridge for up to a week.
To make the applesauce loaf
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease and line a 9" x 5" loaf tin.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients, except the sugars in a bowl.
- In a larger bowl, combine the oil (or butter), flax paste, sugars, water and applesauce.
- Using a spatula, stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture in 3 batches.
- Then stir in the raisins and walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and allow it to rest for 10 mins. The bake in the centre of the oven for 50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
- Rest the applesauce loaf in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.