Diced Apple Bread a la Riverland

Our guests often tell us they really enjoy our apple bread and so, we are putting the recipe on the website in self-defense, so we don’t have to keep writing it out.

This is a very traditional New England recipe in two ways.  First, New England grows apples and so, we use what we have.  Second, the recipe has evolved in a process reminiscent of the “folk process” in music.

I found what may be the original recipe in Cooking Down East by Marjorie Standish (Portland, Me:  Guy Gannett Publishing, 1983, p. 139).  The author published a cooking column, “Cooking Down East,” in the Maine Sunday Telegram for 25 years, beginning in 1948.  Marjorie’s cooking was said to make a Mainer “set his belt forward a notch or two.”

Cooking Downeast (2)But the recipe that found its way into my recipe box came from my Aunt Barbara, a long-time resident of Saco, Maine.  The recipe had been well and truly adapted by then, morphing from one loaf to two and adding many more apples, vanilla and a sugar/cinnamon dusting.

So here is the Riverland version of Diced Apple Bread:

  1. Grease two loaf (bread) pans, 5.5” x 9”. We use glass pans, but any will probably do.
  2. Sift three cups of white pastry or all-purpose flour and then sift the flour together with 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.

iii. Peel, core and chop 4 cups of apples (about 8).  Our favorite apple variety is Cortland.

  1. Cream 1 cup of softened butter (2 sticks) and 2 cups of sugar in a mixer.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and 3 unbeaten eggs, one at a time, and mix well until light and creamy. Add the apples and mix well.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix well.

vii. Turn into the two greased loaf pans.

viii.   Sprinkle with a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

  1. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
  2. Let cool some. Run a knife around the edges of the loaf pans.  Turn upside down on a rack and cool some more.  At some point, jostling or hitting the pans smartly on the bottom with a hand will likely unloose the apple bread.  If not, work a spatula in and under the bread and it should come free in one piece.


Diced apple bread recipe (2)


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