I remember once spending an entire afternoon helping my mom make applesauce. My sister and I loved the apple-peeling machine that cut each apple into cool spirals, and we took turns manning the crank.
Mom was at the stove, cooking down the sliced apples and then ladling it off into containers as the applesauce was finished.
We thought it was so cool. I think our freezer was full of containers of applesauce for quite awhile—we were probably a lot more excited about making it than eating it, I’d guess. But I always remember that as such a fun experience, and the taste of any kind of baked apples has always been high on my list.
I’ve had an unopened jar of apple butter in my pantry for a few months now. If you don’t know, apple butter is really just super-concentrated applesauce. It’s cooked down even more to give it that pretty brown color. It’s fantastic on toast, but I kept thinking I could do something special with this jar, and that’s when I came across this week’s recipe.
The recipe I tried comes from the blog “KJ and Company.” You can find the original at https://kjandcompany.co/2019/09/21/spiced-apple-butter-bread/. I added more vanilla and extra spices in my version.
Apple Butter Bread
- 8 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup apple butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying it with cooking spray (cut the parchment so it lines the bottom and goes up the long sides of the pan to hang out over the edges).
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, apple butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the rest of the ingredients until everything is combined well.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
- Slice it (it’s easier to slice once it’s cooled completely) and store in an airtight container.
If it didn’t feel like September before I started baking this bread, it definitely did by the time I was finished. My whole kitchen smelled like warm, fall spices, and I was practically ready to go grab a cardigan.
This was a nice, lightly spiced quick bread that we ate both as a dessert and for breakfast, and we really enjoyed it. I actually doubled the recipe so we could share with the office, and it went over well there, too.
And it was also a lot easier to let somebody else make the apple butter instead of that long afternoon of applesauce-making with Mom all those years ago. I’m all for cooking completely from scratch, but sometimes a jar is a nice addition to a recipe.
This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 3, 2020.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.