Well, not my mom’s. I’m guessing Melissa Murphy’s mom’s, since it’s in her new cookbook The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. You know, I really don’t like bananas in their raw form (not even in smoothies), but once they are baked into something sweet, it’s a whole ‘nother story. R does like to have bananas in his cereal, but sometimes he buys more than he can eat. When that happens, I wrap them up and stash them in the freezer…after I’ve accumulated a few, it’s time for banana bread, cake or muffins!
What makes this particular banana bread extra-special are the bits of caramelized apple throughout. Most banana bread has a pretty good shelf life and can even get better after a day of so. This one is no exception, as the sweet apples just meld more into the spiced bread.
Mom’s Banana Apple Bread– makes one 1 1/2-quart loaf pan
from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy. All rights reserved. Copyright © Melissa Murphy, 2008
For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan.
To make the apples:
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat until bubbling. Add the apples and cinnamon and sauté until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To make the banana bread:
-In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
-In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla.
-Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Stir in the mashed bananas until combined. Then stir in the reserved apples.
-Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool further.
*Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The banana bread keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Defrost (still wrapped) at room temperature.
When I put up my first Tuesdays with Dorie post earlier in the week, I mentioned that I’d like to make the recipes the group tried out before I joined. This morning I decided to start with the simplest one, the first in the book: Orange Berry Muffins.
I may be a little groggy at 8:00 on a Saturday morning, but I had no trouble putting these together. A few ingredients, mixed by hand…twenty-five minutes later, breakfast is ready. The best part is they’re loaded with berries!