This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe was chosen by Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart. If you haven't already checked out her site, you should definitely make a point of doing so. Not only does she have a wonderful way with words, but she has intersting anecdotes about the history of her various recipes.
Joy chose Mom's Banana Apple Bread and I must start by saying I absolutely love banana bread. Its one of those foods that reminds me of a warm blanket on a cold day, a mother's hug, a good snuggle... comfort food! It was fitting that Joy would pick a recipe like this as she seems to be such a warm and caring person. I have to admit though, I went into this recipe a little biased. My dad makes banana bread all the time and I typically use his recipe. I tried a couple other recipes, but always come back to the one he makes. However, the apples seemed like a nice twist and I was intrigued by the choice of spices. I have had cinnamon in bananas foster and nutmeg in banana smoothies, but never together.
The bread is super easy to throw together. It calls for sauteeing the apples before adding them to the banana bread batter which seemed interesting to me. Anytime I have added apples to baked goods, I just throw them in, but I think you sautee them to carmelize them. When I finished mixing the ingredients, I was a little thrown off by how much batter seemed to be in the bowl. The recipe says to use a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan- I have no concept of how big a loaf pan of this size is supposed to be, but obviously the ones I have are much smaller. I doubled the recipe because I had quite a few bananas to use up and I ended up with two nine inch loaves and a bundt cake. This was fine because we had a baptism to go to on Sunday and I thought I could bring the cake to the party after.
As banana bread, I still like my dad's recipe better. I think I was anticipating more of a banana flavor, but once this bread sits for a bit, the banana and apple flavors morph into something totally but wonderfully new. I would definitely make this recipe again, but not when I am in the mood for good old fashioned banana bread. Everyone at the baptism seemed to enjoy it- it was gone before we left! My only complaint about the recipe is I think the apple slices were a little too large for the recipe. They kind of pulled the bread down if they were near the top of the batter, so my loaves looked a little lumpy. The slices also pulled away from the cake in some places. Next time I will cut the slices again in half or thirds. And again, I felt the flavor was much better the second day when the banana and apple had some time to blend. I would also like to try to make the recipe with applesauce instead of bananas for a nice fall treat when apples are in season.
Thanks for picking such a delicious recipe Joy! Another winner from from the Sweet Melissa Baking book... If you would like the recipe, you can find it on Joy's blog. And be sure to check out what the other Sweet Melissa Sundays bakers thought!