Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Taste & Create X: Mom's Banana Apple Bread

I was paired with Steph of a whisk and a spoon for this month's Taste & Create event, hosted by Nicole of For The Love Of Food. Taste & Create is a food EVENT in which participants are randomly paired up and tasked with preparing a recipe of their choice from their partner's blog. Steph, a New Yorker currently living in Sydney, has some amazing recipes on her blog, but I quickly narrowed it down to two or three.

I was very intrigued by Steph's rendition of Caramel-Topped Flan, with lime-infused coconut milk. This is definitely on my list! However, a last-minute camping trip caused time to escape me, and I decided to make my second choice recipe for the event, Mom's Banana Apple Bread. Since I also have to make muffins for H-Bomb's final day of preschool this week, and the store is 35 miles away, I decided to improvise a bit and make the banana bread today. I had a Jonathan apple in the fridge, and some other random apples leftover from our trip, so I used those instead of the Granny Smiths for which the recipe called.

The apples smell heavenly when they are caramelizing, especially after you add the vanilla. I will definitely make the apples alone; they would be excellent in crepes, over ice cream or even alone!

I have altitude issues, so I lowered the oven temperature, which in turn increased the baking time, but my loaf was not burned! If you live at a normal altitude, it should be fine.

This bread is amazing. Just the right amount of spices, and the apples are a fabulous addition. As you can see, I couldn't wait to try it and sliced it when it was still a bit warm. My sons and I ate half of the loaf for lunch! You should try this.

Mom’s Banana Apple Bread- makes one 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
1 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.


steph- whisk/spoon said...

glad you like it! i love the apple bits, and when i made the bread, i did actaully do extra caramelized apples for my oatmeal the next morning!

Min said...

That is such a great idea! I bet the boys would love it too. I fear I could eat them by the bowlful!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin