A few days ago I was dropping my niece off for school in the morning and when we got there, the both of us got an unexpected surprise:
We were really cold.
That may seem like a perfectly normal morning for some or most of you reading this post, but for those of you who live on the West Coast of the US or in other areas of the world where’s it’s on the warmer side for most of the year, you may understand the feelings of surprise in getting up in the morning, going outside and feeling as if you need a warmer jacket.
We only recently moved back to the East Coast, and so chilly mornings haven’t really been the norm for us (outside of the dead of winter months like January or February). It was an unexpected, but not unwelcome feeling. It made me all the more conscious of the time of year, and with that, came a really strong desire to kickstart into fall baking.
There are few ingredients/foods that are more suited to fall baking than apple butter. Whether you make it or buy it, whenever and however you eat it, you’re going to get a sense of ‘eating’ autumn. Up until now I’d only eaten and made apple butter in and of itself, but this time I found a really yummy way of baking with it.
Quick bread is another one of those “Impossible to Mess Up” recipes that I love sharing on the blog. Excepting the apple butter, you likely already have the majority of the ingredients in your house, and at this time of year, apple butter should be relatively easy for you to find, whether at. a grocery store or a farmer’s market.
I seriously wish that the smells of this loaf as it was baking could be converted into a candle. They come second only to the actual taste of it, which as you might imagine, are like taking a perfect bite of pure autumn.
Apple Butter Pecan Bread
For Pecan Streusel
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour (2) 8- x 4-inch loaf pans and set aside.
Make the streusel: Stir together coarsely chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Crumble into small pieces.
Beat butter and cream cheese in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer and a medium sized bowl) on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating on low speed just until blended.
Stir in the Apple Butter, and vanilla.
Spoon batter into the loaf pans. Sprinkle top of batter evenly with Streusel Topping.
Bake in preheated oven until a long wooden pick inserted in center of each loaf comes out clean and sides pull away from pans, 50 minutes to 1 hour, shielding tops of pans with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.
Cool loaves in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely, about 1 hour.