Today it was all about bananas.
Our apple banana trees have been putting out plenty of bunches so before they go, I had to bake lots of beautiful apple banana nut breads. In Hawaii we have many varieties of bananas. The Williams bananas are longer like the kind we are familiar with in the mainland. Our apple bananas are short and have a unique sweet fresh taste. They are not as creamy as the ice cream bananas that are more like a custard.
The different thing about apple bananas is when the skin is turning black and you think they are pau (finished), they are still beautiful inside, not bruised at all. (Most of the time.)
These bananas appear bruised but once peeled you can see they are really nice still. Most recipes only call for a few bananas, but my recipe came from an old Maui Ladies Home Cookbook which called for 6-7 ripe bananas. Today I doubled my recipe and because apple bananas are small I used about 15 bananas.
I sifted together
5 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
4 tsp. of baking soda
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
Then I cream 4 sticks of butter with
3 cups of sugar and add 3 tsp. of vanilla.
I also add 1/2 cup of honey!
On the side in another bowl I crush my bananas with a beater blade.
I also add 8 large eggs that have been lightly beaten to the butter and sugar mixture.
I combine my wet and dry ingredients adding the bananas and mixing with a large spoon until everything is blended. Then I have my walnuts (2 cups) which I have crushed by using the thick measuring cup to pound them inside a larger bowl. You can cut them, chop them or use the food processor but this is how I have done it for years, so I like it that way.
Incorporate the nuts and add 1 cup of craisins to the batter too. Lightly oil the pans even though they are a non-stick. I do.
This batch made 8 small loaves and one very huge long banana bread equivalent to two normal loaves, I'd say.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake these small loaves for only 30 minutes or until the bamboo skewer comes out clean. They cook fast.
This apple banana bread took one hour and 15 minutes to bake completely.
Wait a few minutes to cool then slip them out of the pan. I love those non-stick Martha Stewart mini-loaf pans. I have to get another one so I can do double batches.
So here's what it looks like inside. It was moist but I added a little butter and my banana bread was divine.
My mother-in-law Catherine helped me by holding my book. I showed her my step by step banana bread recipe, then we stepped outside while they baked to enjoy another Maui day on the lanai just reading, listening to the birds, and very windy trades blowing as the banana bread was baking.
I want to share some beautiful plant and flower photos that I took yesterday in my yard and in Catherine's old yard.
Our apple banana tree has about five new stalks on it right now so there's much more to come.
And last but not least beautiful Maui. Our north shore is an awesome spot to watch the wind surfers and take in the most gorgeous views of West Maui and Molokai in the distance.
Don't forget to vist http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/ for my latest designs on tees and all my books.