For the first time in my life (ok, maybe not my entire life), I followed a recipe to the T. Exactly. I didn't even try to change a thing.*
I've been falling all over myself trying to make apple recipes (although...why? we go through apples like they're going out of style...I can barely keep enough around for baking!) at about the same time we had a basket full of (rotting) bananas sitting in the kitchen. I forget if I food blog searched for a recipe or if I happened upon it another way, but regardless of how it went, this recipe is perfect. It comes from The Goddess's Kitchen and it involves banana bread & caramelised apples, so, really, it would be hard to go wrong.
It originally came from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book (which I am totally dying to get) and was quite perfect, just the way it was written. :) I do think I may have cut my apples too small or perhaps over-caramelized them, because it was more like there were slim shivers of apples than actual chunks. I liked it that way though...added a bit of sweetness & flavor to the banana bread without taking away from the banana bread.
Mom's Banana Apple Bread
adapted from The Goddess's Kitchen
Makes one 1½ -quart loaf pan (2lb/900g)
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
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups white whole wheat 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/180oC. 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.
*(Of course I did use cute little leaf molds instead ofloaf pans. That's allowed, right?)