I like to pass around a basket of assorted breads with a large meal. On Thanksgiving, I make a tray of cornbread and apple bread, cut them up into slices or large squares and place them in a breadbasket.

If you are wondering about the strange name for the apple bread, Ms. Murray-Wilke was my two daughters AP literature teacher in high school. She would often bring in baked treats for her students to snack on while they discussed literary works. The apple bread was a favorite of her students and she was kind enough to share the recipe. I’ve been making it for years during the fall season.

I usually make both of these breads one or two nights ahead, or even a week before and I freeze them. It depends on how much time I have, juggling work, shopping and cooking. The key is to enjoy your holiday, and to do as much as you can beforehand without compromising the flavor of your food.


1¼ cups of flour

¾ cup cornmeal

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons honey

Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan or a muffin tin. Combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk, melted butter, egg and honey until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Do not over-mix. Pour the batter into pan or a muffin tin. Bake 20 – 25 minutes.


Ms. Murray-Wilke Apple Bread

Pre-heat oven at 325° F

Yields one loaf


½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons buttermilk or sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups peeled, diced granny smith apples


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

*Hint- I like a lot of topping. I double the amount of topping for each bread. The choice is yours!


Prepare the topping first and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add flour, cinnamon and nuts. Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

For the batter – Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, blending well.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg and butter mixture. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk: add to batter, mixing well. Peel and dice the apples now that the batter is done. I find that there is less of a chance of the apples turning brown this way. Stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into a well-greased and floured 9×5- inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 1 hour. Cool slightly before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.


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