A few months ago, we were picking up packages in Point Roberts when we came upon a lonely little apple tree on the side of the road with few bright red fruits dangling off its branches.
Of course, we ambled our way through the dry bushes to pick them but then debated whether we could bring apples (from Point Roberts, since technically you can’t bring apples from Washington State) across the border, so we picked just one for our journey home.
It wasn’t the tastiest; it was tart and somewhat astringent but we ate that apple like the best we’d ever had.
That weekend we bought a sack of apples from the store having convinced ourselves that we needed to snack on apples more… but occasionally, I would think of the little apple tree by that sleepy road.
Its wild fruit would fall and become food for birds and wildlife in the area – perhaps that is its purpose.
This mild fixation with the apple tree had me looking up ways to use wild apples (crab apples) on the internet; using them in baking came up a lot.
Then weeks later I was talking to my buddy D and he jokingly told me about an apple beer bread his dad used to make with apples they’d pick from an old abandoned orchard in their small town.
“Flour, beer, a bit of sugar and toss the apples in…” is the response we got back from his dad when he asked for his recipe.
D and I hung out over the Christmas break, I surprised him with my version of apple beer bead; thick slices slathered in butter with homemade coconut milk lattes. He said it’s just like his dad used to make, I know he’s being kind.
His dad was right though, there isn’t much to this simple quick bread, just a bit of flour and sugar, and toss in a few chunks of apple – there’s however joy and comfort in eating it.
It’s a good hearty bread, soft and moist from the apples, and a little sweet and salty. And if you love the smell of beer but you aren’t necessary a beer drinker (like me), you’d love this bread… it smells wonderful.
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 medium-sized apple, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups beer (1 12oz bottle beer)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes (for sprinkling on the top)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and generously grease a loaf pan with a tablespoon of melted butter
- In a large bowl, stir together flours, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and sea salt
- Add chopped apple and mix
- Pour beer into the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed
- Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and pour the rest of the melted butter on top
- Sprinkle sea salt flakes on top
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Choose a sweet, firm, crisp apple like Fuji, Honey Crisp or Gala etc.
- A 9x5-inch pan is recommended for this bread