© Monica Buck
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Serves : MAKES ONE 9-INCH LOAF

Melissa Murphy's mother taught her how to make banana bread before she could recite the alphabet. They never believed in putting nuts in their loaves, but caramelized apples are another story.    More Brunch Ideas  Beautiful Desserts  

How to Make It

Step 1    

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.

Step 2    

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.

Step 3    

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.

Step 4    

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.

Make Ahead

The banana bread can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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