Continuing on with my topic of types of food we have way too much of... browned bananas. At last count, the number of too brown bananas hanging out in my freezer was north of 15, and I haven't counted recently :)
In all seriousness, bananas are something we almost always keep in the house as I'll eat them everyday for breakfast when we have them. My problem? I like them green. As long as I can get the peel off, I'll eat them. One spot and they're sitting on the shelf waiting for banana bread, and one thing that I have learned since moving is that bananas ripen much faster here!
I have had my eye on this banana bread in The Sweet Melissa Baking Book since before I joined the baking group. The group made it before I was a member, and I remember thinking that this was a recipe that I definitely needed to make to "catch up." The opportunity presented itself to make this bread over the holidays while my in-laws were here, so I finally got to using up (at least a couple) of those bananas.
This banana bread recipe takes the twist of first caramelizing a couple chopped apples in brown sugar and butter before mixing them into the batter. I feel like we didn't necessary taste the apples themselves in the finished loaf, but they definitely helped keep the loaf really moist, even for a couple of days. Banana bread is one of those things where I can't seem to commit to a recipe, making a different one almost every time, but this is a recipe I'm sure we'll make again. Enjoy!
Mom's Apple Banana Bread
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
For the apples:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart loaf pan. Set aside.
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.
For 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 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 removing from the pan to cool on the rack further.