Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aloha Banana Bread

This is my favorite banana bread recipe, and I make it whenever I have 2 very ripe bananas laying around.  It is super super easy.  And delicious.  Irresistible really.  I keep finding excused to go to the kitchen and slice off a piece.  I got this recipe from my mom, and I don't know where she got it originally, but it is very good, especially if you love nuts and coconut and bananas.... and if you don't, you are missing out...

Here is what you need:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mashed banans (2 medium)
1 T. grated orange peel (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts or pecans, or a combo)

Here is what you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix all the ingredients.  I usually whisk the dry ingredients, then cream the butter in a mixer, then add the other wet ingredients to the butter, and then gradually add the flour mixture.  Finally, I manually stir in the coconut and nuts.  I don't think any of this really matters.  Just get it all mixed up good.

3.  Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan.  

4. Pour in the batter.

5.  Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, until a dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then turn onto a rack to cool completely.  Eat it warm with butter! YUM.

Lattice Crust Blueberry Peach Pie

YUMMMMM! These are two of my favorite fruits and so I decided they needed to be combined in one pie.  I improvised this recipe based on other fruit pie recipes I have made.  I think it is better than any I have made before.  Or maybe I say that every time I make one...?!  But hey, it's always best when you are eating it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...

To die for.  Literally.

Here's what you need:

Crust for a 9 inch pie.  (See my recipe for Flaky Pie Crust)
3 cups of blueberries, rinsed and picked over
3 cups of ripe, sliced peaches (about 4 or 5 large). I used a combination of white and yellow peaches.
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus some for sprinkling on top of the pie
1 T. unbleached flour
2 T. minute tapioca
1/2 tsp.  cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 T. butter, cubed small
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Here's what you do.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the bottom crust of the pie and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Rinse the blueberries, and pick out any bad ones and any stems.  Slice the peaches.  Put the fruit in a medium size mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Gently toss.

Add the flour, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.

Mix thoroughly.

Pour filling into bottom crust.

Dot with the cubed butter.

Create a lattice crust (see instructions at the end of the recipe for Flaky Pie Crust)

Paint egg white between lattice strips and bottom crust, crimp edges, and then lightly paint the top of the crust and the edges.  Collar the edges of the pie with tinfoil.

Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes.  Turn down the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 45-55 minutes, until the crust is a light golden brown.  Remove the tinfoil collar 15 to 20 minutes before the end of baking.

Let cool on a rack for several hours before eating.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  Enjoy!