Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Applesauce Bread & Fall...Perfect Together!

Apples, apples, apples! This fruit has history! I mean, after all, wasn't it used in a famous garden as a means of temptation? Well, let me tell you, I'd have taken a bite! A big bite! It is my favorite fruit, snack, companion of pork, and of course, dessert. And as days grow cooler and shorter, the waft of apples baking in any form, offers the most perfect aroma from the kitchen.

Of course, my love of this fruit may be tied to a memory that is so clear in my mind it seems like yesterday. It involves an annual trip on a mid-fall Sunday, when my kids were little.The whole family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, would gather at a local farm, climb on wagons pulled by tractors, and trek into the orchards in search of the perfect apples. All the kids would scamper up the branches and go for the one that always seemed just out of reach. My Dad, known as "Pop" to his grand kids, would stand in the middle of the clan with a pocket knife, peeling apples for the little ones around him. Once back at the stand for weighing, the aroma of hot apple cider donuts would entice us. A perfect day every year. Now, my boys are men and that particular orchard is a housing development, but the memory lingers like a warm apple pie. 

This month, apple trees in the northeast are starting to pop with this sweet/tart/tangy/red/green/golden bounty, and throughout Autumn I will post some amazing recipes, but for today, I am going with applesauce bread, which is always my first go-to fall baking endeavor.When I make the switch from ice tea to hot tea, applesauce bread is the perfect accompaniment. I have tried several recipes, but what I love about the one below is that it uses so little added sugar, and is still very sweet in flavor. The recipe is hand written on a well worn note page, and not sure where I got it, but it's at least 20 years old and absolutely worth keeping. And trying!!!

Applesauce Bread


So moist!
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 by 4 by 3-inch loaf pan.
Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the remaining ingredients except the raisins and nuts. Mix well until blended. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.