Warm spices, apples, and plenty of toasted pecans make this the perfect fall quick bread. Applesauce adds an extra hit of apple flavor while chopped pecans make an appealing crunchy top.
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup diced apples
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and then flour the bottom and sides of a 6-cup (8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch or 9 x 5-inch) loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Whisk until well blended. Stir in the toasted pecans and apples.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add the applesauce and whisk until blended. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold until blended.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the chopped untoasted pecans evenly over the batter, gently patting them in so they adhere.
Bake, rotating halfway through, until the top is golden and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.
Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert the bread and remove the pan, turn the bread right side up, and let cool completely. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.