Fall Fun + Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread with Apples

Every week, for the past 40 weeks, Ben has asked to make pumpkin bread. Last year we bought the mix from Trader Joe’s and it was the perfect activity for him – easy to make, easy to mix and perfectly tasty. It is a seasonal item, and sweet Ben has waited oh-so patiently for our local TJs to stock it again. Only problem is that apparently everyone else in Chicago likes this mix, too, because it has been sold-out since it hit the shelves this year!

So Ben and I had to improvise!

With ingredients I had hanging around the house – like this delicious buttermilk from Chicago’s 1871 Dairy – we whipped up a couple loaves of homemade pumpkin bread. It was a perfect activity for a sunny Monday afternoon in September.

We had a few apples left from our recent family apple-picking trip, so I peeled, chopped and tossed those into the batter, too. Thanks to this September heat wave it was SO HOT at the orchard that we were all basically miserable as we lazily lobbed sun-warmed apples into our bags. Something so odd about apple picking and pumpkin patching when it is like 900 degrees outside!

By the time the kids were home from school the loaves were cool enough to eat. A great after school snack!

Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread with Apples (makes two loaves)

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons gound ginger

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups peeled and chopped apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, mix pumpkin, buttermilk and melted butter until well combined. Add eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in apples.

Pour batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for one hour. Cool before slicing.

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