This is an adaptation of a really, really special banana bread recipe from Modern Mrs. Cleaver, the first time I read her recipe all I could think was I had to make it. Well I made it and the single loaf the recipe made disappeared as soon as after school/work snacks that day were eaten. It was universally declared the best banana bread every. I realized that the secret to this incredible bread was that Mrs. C cooked the bananas with some booze, butter and brown sugar before putting them in the batter. It gave a bananas fosters type flavor to the bread that is just wonderful, it also got me thinking. If you cook the fruit before it goes in the batter you could use fruit that a lot of times is to moist to use in bread raw…it’s like making a compote.
I began by kind of roughly doubling Mrs. C’s recipe, and by changing out some white flour for whole wheat and some of the real sugar for Splenda (please no lectures on the benefits or dangers of sugar substitutes). I like to make these substitutions when I can as I have a house full of inhabitants that are not trying NOT to gain weight, so when I can save a few calories and sneak in some whole wheat I do. I have made this bread with lots of different fruit, but I always start with a base of three or four bananas and one apple or pear then I just grab whatever other fruit I have in the house, it can be fresh or frozen. So far my favorite was the banana, apple and strawberry with dry apricot, the batch in the photos has banana, apple, strawberry and plum with dry cranberries. About the only fruits I have not tried to put in this bread are citrus, grapes, and melon, it’s that versatile; and a great way to use up leftover fruit salad or fruit that has lingered in the fridge past its prime. Don’t skip the coconut it gives such a wonderful sweetness and texture, I love it.
Fruit Compote Bread
- 3-4 over ripe bananas
- 1 apple peeled and cored
- 1-2 cups other fruit cherries, blueberries, stone fruit, strawberries, you name it
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1-2 ounces Jack Daniels or other dark liquor like rum or scotch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar Splenda or 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup butter milk
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup white all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup white baking Splenda or 1 cup white sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 handful of chopped nuts of your choice
- 1 handful coconut
- 1 handful favorite dry fruit raisins, craisins, apricots
- 1 handful of chocolate chips if you want
Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in a large frying pan on the stove top over medium high heat, when melted add the apple and any other firm fruits let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes until slightly softened.
Next add the mashed bananas along with the brown sugar Splenda and the cinnamon.
Then add in the Jack Daniels, at this point if you have an audience in the kitchen and are so inclined you can flame the liquor or just let the liquor burn off in a less dramatic way, stirring occasional.
Reduce the heat to medium low and let the mixture simmer until it smells like heaven and has darkened just a little. Remove the fruit compote from the heat and let it cool while you make the batter.
In one bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda and white sugar. In another larger bowl mix the liquids: butter milk, vanilla, eggs, and oil when blended add the fruit compote. If the compote is still really hot you will want to temper the egg mixture before you plop in all that hot fruit. Then start mixing in the dry ingredients. Your batter will be lumpy from the fruit.
Next add in the handfuls of nuts, dry fruit, coconut and chocolate chips, stir gently. In all honesty the chocolate chips are almost over kill, but this family has a chocolate addiction so I have to add them.
Pour the batter into two regular loaf pans that you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Put them in the oven for about an hour to hour and half. You will know the bread is finished when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the loaf pan for about fifteen minutes then turn out on a wire rack to let it finish cooling. If any of the bread survives the after school snack attack I love it toasted in with a smear of cream cheese for breakfast.