We’ve had a couple of dead bananas in the freezer for about a month and a half now. They’ve gone in and out of hiding among the bags of frozen green beans, but they always manage to wriggle back to the top of the pile. And there’s really only one thing you can do with bananas that black: make banana bread.
I was never the banana bread person in our house. That job went to my sister. I’m not quite sure why, since I was the maker of all things baked–cookies, brownies, cakes, other random experiments–but for some reason, that was her thing. When she and my mom got going, they’d bake what seemed like endless numbers of loaves of banana bread. Some would be given away, others would be popped into the freezer for later consumption. Because in my family’s house, banana bread does not last. If there is somehow any left on day 3, you’d better take all of it for your own breakfast, no matter how full you are, because by the afternoon, there won’t be even a crumb left.
So, when I set out to make my mom’s recipe in my own shiny new food processor, I had pretty high expectations. And this simple recipe did not disappoint. I threw the bread in the oven and hopped in the shower–and when I came out of the bathroom, the whole house smelled just like banana bread. Exactly the right kind of banana bread. Not too sweet, not too light or fluffy, no chunks of banana–just good, banana, nutty goodness.
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6 Tbs. butter, room temperature, cut into 6
1¼ cup mashed banana
2 large eggs
1 cup walnut meats
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Butter and flour pan / 6-cup ring mold. Preheat oven to 350. Add sugar, lemon juice and butter to bowl with metal blade. Process until well-mixed (30 seconds). Scrape down. Add banana; process about 35 seconds. Add eggs; process until smooth (15 seconds). Add nuts; pulse on and off.
Stir dry ingredients together. Add to bowl. Pulse on and off only until flour disappears. Place in pan. Bake—1 hr 15 minutes for loaf pan; 50 minutes for ring mold. Test with cake tester.