What inspired me to make this bread was a recent trip to a local fresh produce market. It was there that I had apple cider donut straight from the fryer and dipped into cinnamon sugar. It left me wanting more of the taste of fall, so I decided to dedicate the next post to apples. But rather than doing another deep fry recipe after I just posted one (and I wanted to avoid making another baked donut at this time), I decided that bread would be great option. And how good it is! With layers of caramelized apples, the sweet scent of spice, and sugar in the raw and cinnamon sugar topping, this bread is a beautiful thing.
Is your mouth watering yet? I certainly hope so!
Caramelized Apple Bread with Cinnamon Sugar:
For the Bread:
1 large apple
5 tbsp. room temperature butter, divided
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
2 tsp. sugar in the raw
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Peel and quarter apple. Cut into 1/8-inch slices. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add apple, keeping it in a single layer as best as possible. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn apple slices over. Cover and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until apple slices are tender yet maintain shape. Remove from heat and leave uncovered. Note: if apple browns too quickly during cooking, reduce heat. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of apple: softer ones like McIntosh cooks faster than harder ones like Fuji.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, and egg. Beat on high for a minute or until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and water. Beat, starting on low and gradually increase to medium high, until mixture is smooth. Add flour mixture, one-third at a time and blend just till combined using a rubber spatula.
Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan. Place one-third of the batter on the bottom followed by a layer of apple slices, using only one-third. Repeat layering two more times. Slightly press the top layer of apples into the batter. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until tooth pick comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center. Cool at least 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool completely on rack. Makes about 12 servings.