Banana Bread is like an American baked good staple. Everyone has had banana bread. But a question remains: Has everyone had “Good” banana bread? That being said, I’ve had some pretty terrible banana bread. I mean, BAD. It’s been dry, bone dry, or dust dry. It’s been mushy, it’s been soggy, it’s been drippy. It’s been tasteless, scentless, scandalous. It’s been bad.
Being a chef I’m always looking for something better, no matter what the recipe is. A better apple crisp, a better crumb cake, a better lemon loaf. I had all but given up on banana bread. Of course there in my Nana’s recipe. I remember it being good as a child – mostly, I think, because Nana made it. But (I can’t believe I’m saying this), as an adult, and a chef, I gotta admit, not that great – sorry Nana. Just truly not my favorite thing. And I was okay with that, except when I looked over to the kitchen window, the one overlooking the screen porch, the one Tuckerman cries like a clubbed seal at when he wants to come in, and saw, on the countertop in front of that window 3, disgustingly ugly black bananas.
You all know what I’m talking about. Bananas that could have, should have, been eaten 2 weeks ago, at least. Bananas that are on the cusp of attracting a colony of tiny flies you’ll work for weeks to get rid of. Bananas that have no business doing anything other than being mashed up and used in banana bread. Those bananas. Well, there they were, a trio, screaming to be used – so, I catered to their mushy cries and sought a recipe, then, as is my way, adapted the shit out of it. And I gotta say, with the shit adapted right out, I got me a nice, sticky, moist, crumby, sweet, banana bread. One worth blogging about because you all know I would NEVER share a filthy mcnasty recipe – even if it got me kicked out of a group. That’s right, not even then!
Banana Bread with a Kick
3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon calvados (apple brandy)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stir butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and calvados, then the spices.
Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir.
Add the flour, stir.
Pour batter into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean.