And yes, I mean YOU! It’s good to be back with you. Did you read Miss Lisa’s wonderful post while I was gone? I’m making the toasts for lunch today and can’t wait! I have a new (read: old…very old) great grandma recipe for you today and I think you’re going to love it. I know I did. I’m loving every bit of it as I type with my mouth full, actually.
This is one of those faded yellow index cards that I pulled out to make right when I started this project a few months ago. I don’t know why it’s taken me two months to make but boy, was it ever worth the wait!
If you’re like me, you love nothing more than pulling a hot loaf of semi-sweet, crusty, relatively healthy bread out of the oven. Bonus points go for if the bread is easy to make, doesn’t require any rising time and can be slathered with butter, raspberry jam and crunchy peanut butter.
This is the first thing I’ve baked in the new year and it feels great. As much as I loved traveling around and visiting family over the holidays, it felt a little weird to be out of the kitchen for that long. My hands itched to get in some dough and I missed the rush of heat that would fog up my glasses whenever I opened the oven door. Oh, I ate some wonderful food while I was gone (Adam’s mom’s crawfish etouffee and gumbo…my mom’s croissant french toast casserole and slow cooker spaghetti sauce) but I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t happy to get home and form some kind of routine again. Starting with this old fashioned bread!
Great grandma called for shortening, which I used, but I’m positive you could swap it out for butter instead if that’s what you have on hand. It’s only a measly three tablespoons anyway (remember the relatively healthy part?). The end result is a dense, slightly sweet bread that loaded with crunchy toasted almonds and applesauce.
Let it be known though that this bread doesn’t really taste like apples—I’m guessing great grandma made it during the great depression when butter was rare and applesauce proved to be a worthy substitute.
Almond Applesauce Bread
makes one loaf
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
5 oz toasted sliced almonds (about 1 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup applesauce
3 tbsp melted shortening (you can use butter if you like)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard sized loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl. Add the sliced almonds to the dry ingredients, reserving about three tablespoons.
In another bowl, combine the melted shortening, egg and applesauce. Add to dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms (be careful not to overmix here!).
Smooth batter into loaf pan and top with reserved sliced almonds. Bake for 1 hour then let cool completely before slicing.