Allen and I were grocery shopping in Central Market recently, and sampled McCutcheon’s fruit butters. Allen tried apple butter, and I tasted peach. I’ve always been more of a jelly and jam fan, so I was surprised at how much I liked the peach butter. Allen really enjoys apple butter, and since he thought McCutcheon’s was superb, we brought a jar home. When I came in from my morning run the next day, he had already popped open the jar and was enjoying toast with apple butter. The apple butter has a great texture, not too thick and not too thin. It is pleasantly spiced without overwhelming the apple flavor.
I surprised (maybe shocked) Allen this morning by actually cooking breakfast on a weekday! This French toast is quick, easy, and super-delicious.
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
4 tablespoons McCutcheon’s Apple Butter
4 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
Preheat oven to 250°. In a large shallow dish, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Place 4 slices of bread in milk mixture and soak for 1 minute per side, then place bread in skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer bread to a wire rack set on a baking sheet and place in warm oven. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining bread. Spread 4 slices of bread with one tablespoon each of apple butter and top with remaining slices which have been spread with one tablespoon each of whipped cream cheese. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired, then serve immediately.
Source: Slightly adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com
We love a good story behind good food, and the McCutcheons’ story is great. William McCutcheon retired from a Frederick, Maryland canning company in 1938 at age 80, but he wasn’t quite ready to stop working. With the help of son, Robert, and daughter-in-law, Helen, he purchased a used apple press for $25. The McCutcheon family began pressing apples for local farmers, and later made apple butter per their customers’ own recipes. During the 1950’s, the family expanded into larger manufacturing facilities and began making apple products under their own label. Robert and Helen’s sons, Robert Jr. and William, expanded the product line to include preserves, salad dressings, and many others you can order from their website. They also have a company store in Frederick. A fourth generation of McCutcheons is now proudly carrying on the family tradition that began more than 70 years ago with a $25 investment. That is a true American small business success story!
The National Association of Manufacturers produced an interesting video featuring McCutcheon Apple Products. Check it out on YouTube.