Forsaking the traditional cinnamon flavoring, this quick bread uses the savory flavors of Browned Butter and Sage for a fresh take on Apple Bread.
October is here. I am not sorry to say good-bye to September. My September was pretty eventful: from hurricanes to a wedding to a funeral, it pretty much spanned every type of stress. As a friend put it to me recently, I have been living in a deep end of emotion.
Which might explain my obsession with baking these days. Homemade muffins and breads, pies and cookies, cakes and desserts, they all speak to me of comfort and stability. So forgive me if I indulge one more time in a baking recipe.
What else am I obsessed with right now? Brown butter, sage, winter squashes and winter fruits. With this recipe I have put all my obsessions and passions in one place.
Start by browning the butter.
Butter is made up of water, milk solids and fat. The process of browning the butter begins by steaming out the water and separating the milk solids and the fat. At the very end of the process, the milk solids and, to a lesser extent, the fat turn a golden brown and take on a lovely nutty flavor.
Begin by cutting your butter into smaller chunks so that it melts evenly and at the same time. Put it in a light-colored saucepan or frying pan. You want to see the color changes.
Heat the butter over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally so that the butter melts evenly. After the butter has melted it will start to bubble and pop. This is the sound of the water evaporating. Shake the pan or stir the butter constantly so that it cooks evenly.
After a minute or so the foaming will subside and you will be able to see the milk solids on the bottom.
Keeps stirring and watching the color of these solids. This is what determines the taste of your browned butter. Be careful not to burn them!
Once the bottom bits have reached the color you like remove the pan from the heat and pour all of the butter and solids into a bowl to cool.
That’s it. Brown Butter!
Once the butter has cooled a bit, stir it together with the sugar until it is creamy and well mixed. Add the eggs and mix them in well.
In goes the baking soda, salt and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage. (One teaspoon if you are using dried sage). Mix this in well and then add your flour, mixing until just combined.
Fold in the apples and a cup of raisins or dried cranberries.
Pour it into the pan and decorate the top with a few more sage leaves if you like.
This makes a sweet and savory bread which is good for breakfast, goes with soups and pork or just makes a great treat at any time of day.
And when you eat it think of home and family and fall and cozy, peaceful afternoons!
BROWN BUTTER SAGE APPLE BREAD
- 2 c flour
- 1 c brown sugar
- ½ c butter
- 2 c grated apple
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp sage finely chopped
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 4 X 8 loaf pan.
- Cut the butter into chunks and place in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Heat the butter to sizzling. Once it is foaming, stir the butter frequently until the foam subsides and the milk solids on the bottom turn golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl.
Once the browned butter has cooled slightly, beat in one cup of brown sugar. Mix together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until smooth
- Stir in the baking soda, salt and chopped sage. Mix well. Fold in the flour until just combined, followed by the apples and raisins.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and decorate with some sage leaves, pressing them down slightly into the batter.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until done.
- Cool in pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling