An unusual recipe that’s easy to prepare and very good. It is best made with Granny Smith apples – or any other variety that’s crisp and tart – and with bread flour, which is high in gluten, rather than all-purpose flour. Serve in thick slices as either a bread or a cake (delicious with a hard sauce drizzled over it). The recipe makes a lot, so if your crowd fails to materialize, freeze the extras right in the baking cans, covered with the original plastic lids. (If you don’t have a good supply of leftover coffee cans to use for baking these rolls, standard 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans, filled half full, work just fine.)
In a medium-size bowl, stir together the apples, nuts, and sugar. Let them stand for 1 hour, stirring often. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 12-ounce coffee cans.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, soda, salt, and spices. Add the apple mixture and stir well. Then add the oil, vanilla, and eggs and mix well.
Divide the batter among the prepared cans. Cover with a double thickness of foil folded so that it comes down over the sides of the cans at least 2 inches. Bake for 1 hour. Let the cans cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning the rolls out of the cans to finish cooling. To serve, slice 1 inch thick.