- For the topping:
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the bread:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 cup diced dried figs, apples, or apricots or moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
Center a rack in oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust with flour, and tap out excess. Put pan on a baking sheet.
Make the topping: In a small bowl, use your fingers to toss together the sugar, nuts, and cinnamon until evenly mix. Set aside.
Make the bread: Whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, and buttermilk until well blended. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Remove 1/2 teaspoon of mix; toss it with the fruit to coat. Set aside. Stir the oats into the bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry, and, using a large rubber spatula, stir just until everything is evenly moistened. Don't overdo the mixing. Scatter the dried fruit over batter and stir it to blend. Scrape batter into pan; sprinkle over topping, tamping it down lightly with fingers so it sticks.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is browned and a thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer bread to a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of pan and unmold. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.