When I was in 4th grade in upstate New York, my teacher asked the class their favorite season. Everyone was answering summer, and I was painfully shy when I was young, so by the time she got to me I was too scared to say fall so I blurted out summer. She couldn't believe no one said fall because it was the most beautiful season with the changing colors of the leaves and the bounty of apples. And then the class booed her. Can you imagine what would have happened to me had I said fall?

After New York, I lived in Washington which rivaled New York in both fall and apples. Clearly, having lived in both states had its impact on me because apples are easily my favorite fruit. It's incredibly boring to say apples are your favorite fruit, but it's the truth and I think they are amazing. They're portable, the crunch is beyond satisfying, there are a million different kinds and they are equally, if not more delicious when baked.

Baking doesn't happen as often around here as it used to, mostly because of the heat and oh yeah, I have a toddler, so when it does I want it to be quick and somewhat healthy. No homemade croissants 'round here anytime soon. This loaf came together as I was making L's breakfast and it was baked by the time we left the house after she ate. And this will make repeated visits to our kitchen throughout fall and winter subbing out the apples for pears, persimmons, parsnips, pumpkin, candied citrus....the list goes on and on.

yields one 9" x 5" loaf

2 cups (200 g) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (195g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (200 g, about 1-2) diced Granny Smith apple (I like leaving the peel on, but you can peel the apples if you wish)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan and line with a piece parchment with overhanging sides, so it easy to remove once it is baked (see picture above).
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg until combined.
Add the olive oil, yogurt and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Add all but 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold gently until almost thoroughly combined.
Toss the remaining dry ingredients with the apples (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf) and fold in the apples until it is fully combined and there are no dry streaks.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350ºF for 50-60 minutes, turning halfway, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the loaf pan about 10-15 minutes, remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Please do not attempt to slice the loaf before it is cooled - it'll totally fall apart
The cake will last tightly wrapped for about three days at room temp or about a week in the fridge.


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