Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apple Banana Bread

I had apples on the grocery list the other day when Chris went to the store by himself. I didn't really have any recipes in mind, I just like to keep fresh fruit in the house, and I like snacking on fresh apples. However, the apples at the grocery store were a little rough looking and Chris ended up bringing home one of those pre-packed bags of apples -- far more apples then we needed or could reasonably eat in a few days.

I figured it wasn't a big deal though because I knew that there were at least a couple of interesting looking quick bread recipes in the new cookbooks I got and I could use them up fairly quickly. I found the two recipes I had in mind, but this one from the Sweet Melissa book got the first vote because it also called for bananas and I had two bananas that really needed to be used up ASAP.

The apples in this recipe are cooked on the stove in a butter/brown sugar/cinnamon sauce which makes them soft and flavorful. The recipe also called for vanilla, but I used a tablespoon of bourbon in the sauce in place of the vanilla, and another tablespoon in the batter to replace the vanilla there as well. The bread is soft and moist like good quick breads should be with the banana flavor lurking underneath the flavor of cinnamon apples. Overall, a success, but I'm kind of lazy so I'm not sure I will make it again simply because I don't like standing over the stove stirring sauce and apples for 10 minutes. Chris did it for me this time and I didn't even like it that way... But for yet another variation on banana bread, and as a way to use up apples that are going bad quickly -- it worked wonderfully.

For the apples:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 granny smith apples (I used honey crisp), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tbsp bourbon)

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 salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, soft
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh oj
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tbsp bourbon)
1 1/4 cup very rip mashed banana (2-3)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 8x4 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 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, 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 oj and the vanilla.

add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the oj mixture, mixing well after each addition. scrape down the sides of the bowl. stir in the mashed bananas and mix well, 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.


burkie said...

did you use bourbon because you didn't have any vanilla, or because the bottle was already open? :)

burkie said...

nice and moist and tasty! i didn't really taste the bourbon, though.

Benbini said...

good stuff, thanks!

Mira said...

this was super moist and yummy! thanks!!

burkie said...

oh, and you might want to consider tarte tatin if you want to use up all those apples, then share it with mira & russ so they can find out what it's REALLY supposed to taste like :)