- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the brown sugar. Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until tender and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla and transfer the apples to a plate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-by-4 1/2 inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the remaining stick of butter with the granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until smooth. Add the mashed bananas, orange juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; cover loosely with foil if the loaf becomes too dark. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.
The banana bread can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days.