I know banana bread is well loved by many but for me it's pretty blah. Banana bread was what my mom frequently baked when I was growing up and while I did love it, now I could easily take it or leave it. But I was intrigued by this recipe for banana bread that involved sauteed spiced apples. And thus began my journey into The Sweet Melissa Baking Book (which is excellent by the way). This loaf was really delicious and very soft. The apples added a yummy flavour - enough to convince me that while it is "just" a banana bread, I will be making it again.
I'm getting into finals now so unfortunately not as much time for baking as I'd like but I'm definitely spending a lot of time thinking about what goodies I'll be making for Christmas! I can't wait to see what everyone else will be making - especially the cookies.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Caramelized Apple Danish Braid
Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread
Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake
Candied Maple Walnut Pancake Loaf
Mom's Banana Apple Bread
Adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Makes either 1 9"x5"x3" inch loaf or 1 8"x4" loaf and 6 muffins.
For the apples:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the banana bread:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups very riped mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Before you start
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter your baking pans (either one 9x5x3 pan, or one 8x4 pan and 6 cup muffin tin).
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 saute 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
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
2. 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.
3. Combine the orange juice and vanilla.
4. 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.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (and muffin tin if using). Bake for 55 to 60 minutes (for loaves) or 25-30 minutes (for muffins), or until a toothpick 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.