Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Like eating candy atop a delicious fall loaf—Praline-Apple Bread

Can you imagine a layer of praline candy that crowns a bread absolutely packed with the goodness of fresh apples? That was the happy outcome of a new find—a recipe for Praline-Apple Bread. I was prowling around the Internet to see what I might still turn up for some more fall apple fixin’s. This 2009 listing on www.myrecipes.com caught my eye. Saturday morning-type fare, it seemed to call to me. Wow, was it a wonderful addition to our weekend!

In following the recipe I made an interesting substitution. The secret to a moist bread was said to lie in the 8-ounce container of sour cream to be added to the mix. I had on hand only about 1/3 of the 1 cup of sour cream necessary. Hubby had some fat-free vanilla yogurt that he uses for his smoothies. His sacrifice of his yogurt (that I added on top of the existing sour cream to make a 1 cup measure) kept him from having to make an emergency dash to the grocery. I normally am not very gutsy when (off-the-cuff) subs are concerned and don’t like to take risks for fear of a bad outcome, but if moistness was the goal, then yogurt seemed that it might add that attribute.

I shouldn’t have worried. This turned out to be a terrific loaf with the smoothest texture and most amazing flavor imaginable. And the butter/brown sugar topping, stirred to a 1-minute boil and then poured over the bread once-removed from the pan, hardened into a glaze that was like biting into a creamy praline. (The recipe said this appeared two Septembers ago in Southern Living.)

We dined happily ever after.

Praline-Apple Bread

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 (8-ounce) container fat-free sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 pound apples)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 to 8 minutes or until pecans are toasted and fragrant. Stir after 4 minutes. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until blended. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour-cream mixture. Beat until just blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans. Lightly press pecans into top of batter. Bake loaf at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center emerges clean. (After 50 minutes of cooking shield top of bread with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.) When loaf is done and before removing it from its pan, place pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove bread from pan to wire rack. For glaze bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon over top of bread. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. (To freeze, cool bread completely, wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.) Makes 1 loaf.

1 comment:

  1. This is about making Pecan Pralines. I tried a microwave recipe and it got too hard too fast. Is there any way to revive it? I appreciate any tips you may have