I could easily have eaten all three cups of applesauce straight from the baking dish along with the entire pint of crème fraîche, but, fortunately, I didn't. I put it, instead, in jars in the fridge and turned to my cookbooks to decide what to do with it. The Joy of Cooking, that stalwart soul of a cookbook, came through with two recipes, both of which I modified to my particular circumstances. The next morning I baked an applesauce quick bread and an applesauce cake, the quick bread beating out the cake for its place in the spotlight.
This is a moist, substantial, not-too-sweet, and entirely satisfying bread. It uses butter instead of oil, which I like, and the mixture of flours gives it a slight heft without the bread becoming dense. The applesauce, cider, and buttermilk provide ample moisture, the walnuts the right amount of crunch.
Applesauce Quick Bread
adapted from the Joy
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- Combine the flours, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the orange zest, applesauce, and apple cider. Mix to combine. Your batter will appear curdled--don't let this bother you. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with flour. After the last addition of flour mixture, stir until just combined. Fold in the walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Enjoy in thick slices spread with butter.
There is not a bad time to eat this bread. It makes a delicious breakfast, a perfect mid-morning snack, a nice something sweet after lunch, just the thing for tea, and satisfies that craving after dinner. Had I not given the second half of the loaf away, I would be eating a slice right now.