My parents were coming for a visit, and I wanted to have a good breakfast bread for them to enjoy in the morning. They both really like banana bread. I’ve made banana bread countless times before, from the same Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. It’s a good recipe, but I wanted to try something different. I was flipping through the Sweet Melissa Baking Book for some ideas, and I remembered that Steph raved about the Banana Apple Bread. When I read about it on her blog, I knew that I wanted to find the opportunity to make it. I decided that this was the perfect time.
It’s a little more work than a regular banana bread, since you have to cook the apples, but the apples really make a difference. They were a great addition to the bread. I really liked all the spices that were used as well. I don’t often see nutmeg and cloves in banana bread recipes. The flavors made the bread smell so good while it was baking in the oven. They tasted great too! The smell and taste of this bread reminded me of fall, and I think I’ll make it again during that time of year.
Banana Apple Bread (Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
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 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.