The other day, I found this tasty looking recipe for Apple Crumb Cake. As I’ve mentioned before, my husband Marc, and I are ovo-lacto vegetarians (meaning we do eat eggs and dairy). But, Marc’s parents don’t eat eggs, so I’ve been a little wary of venturing too far into eggless baked goods.
I’m more of a cook than a baker, so, it’s a challenge for me to determine when eggs are being used in a recipe just for moisture, and maybe binding. Or if the effect the eggs are supposed to create is height, or some other chemical reaction. Obviously, if a recipe calls for like 10 eggs, no substitute will really work. But if it’s only a couple, why not experiment?
I tweaked the original recipe a bit, and I think it would make a wonderful master recipe for countless eggless quickbreads. What about Pumpkin and Dried Cherry? Or, Shredded Coconut and Fresh Pineapple? How about Banana and Slivered Almonds? If you just tweak the spices a little, there are so many possibilities…
Anyway, I’ll play with it over the next few months and let you know what fun ideas develop. I love coconut oil, so I used it in this recipe. It has so many beneficial properties, including Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), and being antibacterial. So, coconut oil is a much better option than canola, in my opinion. What is a canola supposed to be anyway? Ever seen a canola growing? (it’s short for ‘canada oil’ and is a highly subsidized variant of rape seed oil – normally used as an industrial lubricant…doesn’t sound like good eats to me)
Also, I’m not vegan, so I used cows milk, but of course, you could use your favorite alternative milk if you like (almond, oat, soy, rice). The original recipe called for white vinegar to help with leavening, but I love the flavor of lemon, so I used lemon juice instead, and included the zest. I didn’t think to do it this time, but the crumb topping could be made with ground almond meal instead of flour. The almond meal imparts a wonderful fragrance, more protein and an interesting texture.
Well, enjoy, and as always, I encourage you to use as many organic or sustainable ingredients as possible.
Apple Walnut Quickbread with Crumb Topping
For Quick bread:
1 1/2 c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (you get way more fiber this way, and I promise it’s not heavy or dense)
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbs. organic evaporated sugar cane juice (itâ€™s unbleached granulated sugar that imparts a blond color and still has the natural minerals and enzymes from the sugar cane. great stuff if you havenâ€™t tried it yet and tastes delicious)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp.Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or equivalent combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.)
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 c. milk
Zest from one lemon
1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 c. Coconut Oil or Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Heaping 1 c. Grated Apple (about one large apple)
1/3 C. Chopped Walnuts
1.4 c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or replace with ground almond meal)
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch or two of salt
3 Tbs. Coconut Oil
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a loaf pan or muffin cups. Prepare the topping by mixing all of the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil in while mixing with your fingertips until crumbs form. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Create a well in the center and add the milk, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Mix, and then fold in the grated apple and walnuts.
Fill the loaf pan (or muffin cups) and sprinkle on the crumb topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes (if you make smaller things like muffins, check for doneness with a toothpick in the middle of one, at about 20 minutes).
This quickbread is delicious hot, with a pat of melting butter, but the flavor really come through when the bread is served at room temperature. It’s great any time of day, and is such a quick dish, makes an easy last minute autumn dessert or breakfast.