Everyone has that one thing.
You know what I mean, that thing that you like in real life…but when it comes to eating flavored things you just can’t. Let me explain: Cherries. Everyone knows that cherry flavored things don’t actually taste like cherries. Or watermelon! Have you ever had a watermelon Jolly Rancher and said to yourself, “Mmmm…just like the real thing. That really hit the spot and filled my craving for melon.”
Nope. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that’s a good thing. I love watermelon Jolly Ranchers. But there is one fruit that I can’t stand when it’s put into other things. It is a stand alone solo act, doesn’t play well with others, that sort of thing.
Gosh, I love a good banana. With three freckles, not too many stringy things clinging to it, easily portable, a convenient one handed snack. But for some reason if you peel it and throw it into a smoothie- then yuck. Banana flavored candy is inedible. I don’t even like Banana Cream Pie which is pretty much pure banana with vanilla. And Banana pudding makes me shudder.
Funnily enough, I do enjoy a good banana bread. I think this is because I have an undying love affair with bread in general and even bananas can’t ruin it. But even so, I made this banana bread light on the banana and filled in the corners with apple. It is still moist, sweet, buttery, delicious, flavorful, and addicting. It just doesn’t beat you over the head with bananas.
Because that’s rude and sounds like something an unruly chimp would do. But baking this hearty, warm bread and eating it with a dainty glass of milk is neither unruly nor chimp like. It’s pretty perfect.
Many recipes call for at least three bananas, which results in a really moist and almost gooey texture. I’ve cut back on the bananas a little and added diced apples. The fruit ratio stays the same, but the firmer apples lend themselves to adding a bit more stability. Many times eating banana bread is a little like eating cake. You need a fork and plate to really enjoy it and not force yourself to bend the five second rule to 24 and a half seconds. This loaf fixes this problem. You might drop a crumb or two in distraction, but for the most part you can snack in the assurance that you won’t end up with half of it in your lap. Cinnamon, almond extract, and vanilla all round out the flavor and make you forget that you usually like banana bread with more bananas.
- ½ cup softened unsalted butter
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup over ripe mashed bananas (about 2 medium sized)
- 1 cup finely diced apple
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1.2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position your oven rack to the middle of your oven. Prep your loaf pan by greasing it with butter and sprinkling it with flour or spray with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and white and brown sugar until fluffy and light. Add the two eggs, almond extract, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the banana and mix until combined and thick.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix since this will dry out your bread. Fold in the diced apples.
- Pour/scoop the batter into your prepped loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan (about 10-15 minutes) And then turn out onto a baking rack or kitchen towel to cool completely.
- Store by wrapping in plastic wrap or tinfoil and keep at room temperature for 1 week.