Special equipment: a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan
Work the apples, sugar and lemon zest together in a large bowl with your hands until the sugar feels like wet sand. Let the mixture sit, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes (the sugar will have started to melt but will still be gritty).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together onto a large piece of parchment. Whisk together the oil, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Once the apples are ready, add the flour mixture to them, and fold until combined. Pour in the oil mixture, and fold until just combined (it's OK if there are a few lumps). Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle and even out the batter.
Bake the bread until the top is golden brown and bounces back when pressed (if you insert a toothpick into the center, it's OK if there are a few crumbs), 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack until cool enough to handle. Invert the bread out of the pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. Limit the child to tasks that are safe and age-appropriate.
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