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Photographs by Béatrice Peltre

Recipe Summary

Servings:
10
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • With the oven rack one level below the middle, heat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan, knocking out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

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  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set the mixture aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, then gradually mix in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest, scraping down the sides as needed.

  • Add half the dry mixture to the creamed ingredients, mixing on low to combine. Add the buttermilk, then stir in the remaining dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed. Stir the reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons flour with the apples to coat, then fold the apples into the batter.

  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, smoothing it with a spoon. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar. Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted deep into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let the loaf cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the loaf, turn it out, and let it finish cooling on the rack.

  • Variation: PEAR STREUSEL QUICK LOAF--Replace the apple with an equal amount of diced pears (about 4 medium pears). Combine 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, in a large bowl. Rub well to mix. Spread the topping evenly over the batter and bake.

  • Variation: CRANBERRY-ORANGE QUICK LOAF--Replace the apples with 2 cups of coarsely chopped fresh cranberries. Toss with 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar; set aside for 30 minutes. Toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, as above, and fold into the batter. Replace the lemon zest with 2 teaspoons orange zest. Bake.

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