Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Applesauce Raisin Bread

Last week I ventured out to Maple Acres Farm to see if they had any apples around this late in the winter. As luck would have it, they still had a few baskets hanging around. The very kind woman who was working on that frigid day sold me a big box full for $8.00. Not bad. These apples were pretty banged up - just perfect for making applesauce.

After I cooked up a big pot of applesauce, however, I realized that I had neither the time nor the inclination to actually go through the whole canning process. Consulting the Google, I learned that you can freeze applesauce. In fact, some cooks out there claim that freezing actually improves the flavor of the fruit. Even after filling several quart freezer bags, I had some sauce left. So I decided to make applesauce raisin bread. Again, consulting Google, I found lots of recipes, but none of them seemed like what I was looking for. They either used way too much sugar and butter, or they combined the applesauce with pureed zucchini or pumpkin or banana. Not surprisingly, I have all of those other purees in my freezer too. (Have I mentioned how cool I am?) But I didn't feel like searching them out.

Using my favorite banana bread recipe from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook - a great kitchen reference, by the way -  as a template, I made up a recipe. It came out great. Very moist, not too sweet. Delicious toasted with butter, apple butter and/or cream cheese. Plus, it made the whole house smell delicious. (If you are trying to sell your house, pop this in the oven during your open house. The offers will be pouring in.)

Here it is:
  • In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, 3 tbsp ground flax, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt.
  • In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cup applesauce, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp oil, 3 tbsp honey
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add heaping 1/2 cup raisins.
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour. 
If you really want to take it to the next level, add some streusel topping. It's super easy. Just use a fork or a pastry cutter to combine 3 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 quick oats, 2 tbsp flour and a dash or two of cinnamon. I baked the bread for about 20 minutes and then added the streusel.

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