Today I made banana bread. The WORLD'S BEST BANANA BREAD! I can't take complete credit. The basic recipe is beloved by many - it's from the very first "Private Collection - Junior League of Palo Alto" published in 1980. The correct title is "Kona Inn Banana Bread"....however, as always, I monkey around with a perfectly good recipe and have named it "Nutmeg Banana Bread" with the addition of...duh...nutmeg. And it has to be freshly ground nutmeg...makes all the difference. Sometimes I add cinnamon and walnuts. Once, chocolate chips...not so good. Cranberries? Pretty good. But it's best kept simple. This is so easy to make with such rich results...it should be illegal. It's a great gift, freezes like a dead Eskimo, and when you top if off with whipped cream and a dash of more freshly grated nutmeg...well...just try it. Banana-rama-mama!!
BTW...if you can find this terrific little cookbook, grab it! Every single recipe is very very good. My copy is so beat up...it's fallen in dishwater, been dropped in the batter, microwaved once, and generally abused like all good cookbooks tend to be.
Nutmeg Banana Bread
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup softened butter
6 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)
4 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. With electric beater, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs, beating until well mixed.
3. Sift together dry ingredients three times (I don't do this...I haven't sifted anything since junior high home economics!) Blend with banana mixture but do not overmix.
4. Pour into 2 lightly buttered (I use the spray Pam with flour) loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm in the centers and edges begin to pull away from pans.
5. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before wrapping and/or freezing.
*I don't know exactly why, but it's most definitely better when you use cake flour. So use it. That, and the fresh nutmeg. Now excuse me, I have to go eat that picture.