My cousin Sarah and I are more like sisters than cousins. We grew up in the same town, living just a couple miles apart. Each of our houses was the other's second home. Well, OK, a lot more time was spent at her house in the summer, since it was the one with the pool!
Sarah moved to Boston almost 9 years ago for college, and has been here ever since. She loves it! And having her so close has made the whole moving 240 miles away from home thing a bit easier for me. But in the 6 weeks that I've lived here, would you believe we hadn't found any time to get together until yesterday?!? It's all her fault -- she's been far too busy for me, what with finishing up her first year of med school and all. Kidding. Well, kidding about it being her fault, but not about med school. I'm so proud of her!!! =) Anyway -- she finished finals on Friday, and finally got to come see me and the apartment yesterday. Yay! Company! What else could I do but bake for the occasion?!?
I knew I wanted a quick bread to serve with some tea. I love quick breads... but I rarely find a recipe that seems just right. After much reading of cookbooks and searching the internet, I found the perfect recipe at allrecipes.com (where else? I don't know why I even own cookbooks!).
Spiced Applesauce Bread
1 1/4 cups applesauce (I used unsweetened)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I'm fresh out, so I used melted shortening. It worked.)
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup AP, 1 cup whole-wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt; stir until smooth. Fold in the pecans. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
I had a bit of a brain cramp and forgot to take pictures of the bread before it was gone (the leftovers were great for breakfast... and snacks... and, well, anytime...). But trust me -- it was beautiful... and oh-so-tasty! Sarah liked it, and it was a great complement to the fruity black tea we drank. It had a perfect balance of sweet and tart from the applesauce, and the spices added a touch of warmth. It's really hard to go wrong with that apple-spice combination, isn't it? I'm sure I'll be baking this bread again (and again, and again!), so I'll be sure to post pictures next time.