A few days ago, I mentioned the banana apple bread recipe that I really wanted to bake from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. I just happened to have all of the ingredients, and so I gave it a try.
This bread baked up so beautifully, and was delicious!! The apples really made it moist, and the spices used gave it a most wonderful flavor. I am now definitely sold on the idea of buying this cookbook. Try this recipe out, and see what you think.
A great gift idea would be to give someone who likes to bake, a copy of this cookbook. If you wanted to go another step, you could also include some of this homemade bread on a pretty plate, or in a loaf pan, so that they could make some of their own bread; because after they have eaten the loaf you have baked for them, they will definitely want more.
Mom's Banana Apple Bread
For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith (I actually used winesap) apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 deg. 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 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. In a small bowl, 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. 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.