Mmmm, smell that?
It’s Autumn and she’s primping her orange leaves for their final dance from the branches and enticing all of us to stay inside with cinnamon and allspice-scented treats.
Isn’t it ironic when your banana’s turn the same day you find yourself with a couple of hours to spare in the kitchen on a weekend? I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on a Fall favorite: Apple Walnut Banana Bread.
This past weekend was spent doing everything a Southerner should find herself doing on a warm Saturday afternoon: doors flung open, breathing in the leave perfumed air, SEC football streaming in the background, local brew sitting chilled in an old sorority koozie, and whipping up an Autumn favorite with ripened bananas and apples from a local orchard.
Typically my banana bread calls for 3 bananas but misfortune and fate decided for me that an apple was going to substitute in for the third banana, this time. If it’s between you and me, this might be the best banana bread I’ve made, so you win again this time fate.
Apple Walnut Banana Bread
For this recipe you will need:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
5-8 shakes of allspice & nutmeg each
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large brown eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used Kerry Gold)
1 cup sugar
2 overripe bananas
1 apple (I used Honeycrisp)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt; set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a large glass measuring cup; set aside. Grease a bread loaf pan with butter and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a standing mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy *mine looked a little gritty and still turned out just fine, don’t beat yourself up about it. Gradually pour the egg mixer in while the beater is on low speed, mixing until incorporated. Next, add the bananas and apple to the wet mixture.
With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until there are no clumps or white spots left, then sprinkle in walnuts and give a couple more stirs. Transfer batter to the greased bread pan, bake for 55 minutes (mine took an extra 5 minutes in an electric oven), and remove when a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool. Eat. Enjoy.
So I was at first pretty skeptical about making this since I’ve never added fresh apple, but this banana bread passed the batter test. If you aren’t familiar with the batter test, it’s the moment when no one is looking and you lick the bowl clean with your fingers because the dough is that good. The batter was awesome, and I’ll be damned to say if the bread isn’t better. You may or may not find me polishing off a second piece this morning accompanying my coffee on the way out the door to work.
Thoroughly enjoying Fall and all her flavors. Let’s eat.
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