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This is a delectable apple loaf for the harvest season. Mabon, the equinox, is a celebration that frequently makes use of apples AND bread, so this is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. This bread is wonderful with or without the suggested sugary glaze topping, and is best served warm.

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, margarine, and butter flavor. In a small bowl, mix soda and milk, and stir. Add to the creamed mix. Beat in eggs and vanilla; add flour and salt. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 5 loaf pan. Drop teaspoons of topping over the batter. Bake at 350ยบ F for 50 minutes; cool in pan for 10 minutes and cut into slices to serve.

Notes:
First off this is an unusual sized pan; it's a standard store loaf. Pans this size are hard to come by. You can possibly make a makeshift pan of this type--as I did--by creating a divider in a 13 x 9 baking pan (a lot more standard) and propping it up with small loaf pans to fit inside or some other way of dividing.

Also, I did not use butter flavoring; my milk was not sour; I did not use nuts; and for the topping I did not use "burnt sugar flavoring," I just used a maple extract. It came out VERY yummy.

Variations:
You can use pears instead of apples for a change, and try nutmeg or clove instead of cinnamon for whatever taste you prefer. Also, nuts are not necessary if you don't like nuts--just put in a little less apple because you don't have nuts to offset the moisture. You can also half this recipe and bake it in individual 6 x 3 mini loaf tins to get three baby loaves. If you do this, bake for only 30 minutes.

Yield: 1 long loaf
Source: Paraphrased from Eckert Family Cook Book
Use for: Mabon

Pagan recipes

Ok, to start with, IF you do use Sour Milk in this recipe, DON'T Mix it with the Soda.  The acid in the Sour Milk {also known as Buttermilk} neutralizes the Soda, killing the only leavener in the recipe.  This isn't necissarily BAD, but will create a very heavy, very dense unleavened cake--much like a heavy N.E. maritime "biscuit".  If you use regular milk, the soda should be preserved enough to leaven the dough somewhat.

Secondly, you can skip the "butter flavouring" if you just use butter flavoured shortening.  Though not exactly "natural", neither is butter flavouring.  I do know of a couple organic, non-trans-fat versions.  If you are that worried, use these and save this step.

Thirdly, if you chose to make this, just go for the Creaming Method.  I'm not saying this is necissarily a cake, but seems more like a streudel--which judging by the topping makes it a pretty standard streudel.  Again, this isn't a flaw, but just something you should be aware of; this ISN'T a traditional "bread".

Finally, this doesn't sound like a home-developed recipe; at least not in the form it is in now.  The ingredients, pan size, and format seem more like a keifed {or adapted} recipe from a commercial baker.  I'm not trying to nay-say the recipe, I'm simply stating that it sounds like it came down through a few too many lines before reaching the page.

My opinion?  It's possible to fix this, but you probably want to know what you're doing. Just promise you'll be careful with this one...?

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