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Fresh Lodi Apple Bread

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Lodi apples are the first apples of the season. My West Virginia Grandmother called them June apples. They are thin skinned freckled green apples that are not good “keepers” and not particularly attractive so are not likely to be something you will ever see at the Giant produce section. Their claim to fame, aside from being the earliest apples, is that they make the best applesauce. They are not good out-of-hand eating apples (painfully tart and hard) and the orchard wives around here tell me they are not good cooking apples either because they turn to sauce so quickly. So, we were pleasantly surprised when we successfully substituted Lodi’s for the Granny Smiths in our favorite apple bread recipe. And bowled over when we made it with homemade Lodi applesauce. If you don’t have access to Lodis, this bread is still delicious made with Granny Smith apples and commercially prepared apple sauce.

Directions

(1 bundt pan or 2 small bread pans – double recipe makes 3 standard bread pans)

 

Dry mix:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp., each, of ground: cinnamon cloves allspice nutmeg
2 cups sugar

Wet mix
1/2 cup homemade Lodi applesauce
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups peeled, cored, diced Lodi apples
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped dates

Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together applesauce, oil and eggs.

Add remaining ingredients to wet mix. Add wet mix to dry, stirring just until combined. Don’t panic – this “batter” will be very dry, almost like a fruitcake batter. Divide evenly among 2 small bread pans (or one bundt pan) that have been well greased and floured. (We routinely line our bread pans with parchment paper, it is just safer that way.)

Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour for small bread pans -- probably more for bundt pan. Allow to cool in pans for at least 1/2 hour. Remove from pans very carefully. Caution, this bread is addictive!