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This is an excellent, moist banana bread by itself but the addition of caramelized brown sugar apples make this truly outstanding. You can add nuts or currants. Be sure to use super-ripe bananas (the blacker the better). 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. The recipe was printed in "The Sweet Melissa Baking Book: Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone's Favorite Treats" by Melissa Murphy.
For the apples
- 29.58 ml unsalted butter
- 44.37 ml firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2.46 ml ground cinnamon
- 2.46 ml pure vanilla extract
For the banana bread
- 473.18 ml all-purpose flour
- 4.92 ml baking soda
- 2.46 ml ground cinnamon
- 1.23 ml ground cloves
- 1.23 ml freshly ground nutmeg
- 2.46 ml kosher salt
- 118.32 ml unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 236.59 ml granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 59.14 ml fresh orange juice
- 4.92 ml pure vanilla extract
- 295.73 ml 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.