I have a question for you. What does one do with leftover cherry pie filling and over-ripe bananas? This was my most recent dilemma. After giving this “problem” some thought, I envisioned making a breakfast loaf of sorts that would go well with my morning coffee. When I mentioned this idea to David, he wasn’t so enthused. He didn’t think the two would go together. I, on the other hand, thought it would be the perfect marriage of sweetness from the bananas balanced by the tartness of the cherries. And so, off I went in search of a recipe for such a loaf. I was quickly disappointed. Apparently, no one in the blogosphere has had the same conundrum or shared my desire to make a tasty banana cherry loaf.
There was really only two recipes that were along the lines of what I was looking for. One used cherry pie filling, but didn’t contain bananas, while the other recipe used dried cherries. I decide to go with the second one since it was the closest to what I had in mind. But of course, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly.
In an attempt to clear out my cupboards and to not buy more ingredients just for this baking experiment, I substituted a few things here and there (almonds for walnuts) and added some extra stuff (cranberries) just for the heck of it.
To make this loaf more of a “healthy” breakfast food, I added wheat bran and half of the flour I used was whole wheat flour. I also decreased the amount of sugar substantially. I figured the bananas and syrup from the pie filling would give it enough sweetness.
The end result was exactly what I had envisioned, maybe even better.
This loaf is moist, slightly sweet and tart, nutty and full of different textures – crunchy, chewy and soft all at the same time. And the hints of red from the cherries and cranberries makes it look so festive too.
This loaf is best enjoyed on a lazy Sunday morning, along with a hot cup of joe all the while admiring some beautiful violets.
I would say that this latest experiment of mine was a success.
That’s all for now folks. Until next time…
Recipe (adapted from The Everchanging Plate):
Banana cherry loaf
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup cane sugar (I’m sure brown sugar works too)
- 1 1/4 cups flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
- 1/4 cup wheat bran
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup cherry pie filling (~3/4 cherries, 1/4 syrup)
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter a loaf pan.
- Mash bananas in a bowl.
- Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon into another bowl.
- Add wheat bran and sugar to the flour mixture and mix.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix, gently folding in the cherries until just combined.
- Pour into loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out mostly clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.