I am perfectly content to have a slice of really good bread with nothing on it. Ditto biscuits, scones and bagels.

That being said, I’m not at all averse to slathering a lovely sweet spread on top of any of those things — or just eating it straight out of the jar. My condiment shelf is full of all manner of store-bought jams, preserves, butters and curds that would suit either of those purposes, not to mention spooning on yogurt and oatmeal. But most of them would pale in comparison with one of these homemade versions from our archives:

Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter, above. This is definitely a few steps above the grocery store peanut butter most of us have in our pantry. If you can’t find raw sunflower seeds, you can get away with roasted ones that you toast in the oven for a shorter period of time, just until they’re fragrant and lightly browned. If the seeds are salted, leave out the salt called for in the recipe and add more to taste.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Curd. This curd just might blow your mind on multiple levels. First, it’s delicious. It’s also made in the microwave in mere minutes, with honey instead of sugar and olive oil in place of butter. We couldn’t get enough of it, or the variations that use oranges and regular lemons.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Maple Pecan Butter. No special equipment is required for this spread that will remind you of fall. Maple and pecans have a natural affinity, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt will help make the pairing really pop.



(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Apple ‘Spoon’ Preserves (Mylo Tou Koutaliou)This is a great way to use up extra apples you might have around the house. There’s no canning required, and you can keep the preserves in the refrigerator for up to a week.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. Love Nutella? Then you’re really going to love this perfectly engineered homemade version. Using good chocolate (a mix of dark and milk) takes it over the top.

More from Voraciously:

This crispy herbed falafel makes frying at home worth it

You can put these homemade sauces on anything

The humble black bean is a pantry all-star. Here are 6 ways to use it.