I wasn’t planning on posting these mini loaves. I made them on a whim last weekend, thinking they’d make a good snack to take to work. It turns out this is the greatest banana bread ever. Seriously.
I used the Olive & Gourmando recipe from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef. I’ve had the book since Christmas and have been eyeing this recipe ever since. I hesitated to make it because it seemed a little too involved for banana bread. I mean, it’s supposed to be a “quick” bread, right? Turns out the extra steps were totally worth it. Unlike a typical banana bread, where baking powder is added to dry ingredients, this recipe calls for adding baking soda to sour cream before mixing it into the batter. On top of this unusual step, the recipe also called for microwaving the bananas to extract the juices and then reduce the juice by half. I don’t have a microwave so I heated the bananas over a double boiler, which worked very well.
The flavour was rich, the texture light and moist at the same time. Even days later these mini loaves tasted incredible. So I snapped a quick to prove to you that although this banana bread must be tried.
O & G’s Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup sour cream (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease 8 mini loaf molds, set aside.
- Mix the sour cream and the baking soda together, set aside.
- Over a double boiler, gently heat the banana for 5 minutes. Place the bananas in a fine mesh sieve and strain out the juices, you should get 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice. In a small sauce pan over medium reduce the juice by half, then return the juice to the banana and mash the bananas (don’t puree).
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Stir in the bananas with a spatula, then the sour cream mixture.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, spices and salt together. Fold the flour into the banana/butter mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf molds. Bake for 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the molds for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
I have a confession to make. Although I am well known as a lover of all things pie, up until this May I had never actually tasted a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Shocking, I know.
My first taste of this classic was at the Old Ebbit Grill in Washington. They had a selection of desserts featuring local strawberries that could not be resisted.
After one bite I knew I had found a new love. The tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries combined to make a perfect almost jam like filling. I wanted more. So as soon as the first local strawberries appeared, I went out and bought a basket. I paid top dollar for these berries ($7 for a litre) but it was totally worth it.
Using Anna Olson’s recipe, I baked my first Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. The crust was crisp and flaky on the edges, but the base got a little soggy. Next time I think I’ll blind bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the filling. The filling was delicious, sweet and tart, just like the slice I had in Washington. Be sure the pie is completely cooled before slicing to ensure that the filling has set.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Adapted slightly from here.
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter, grated
- 1/4 cup cold shortening, grated
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 3 to 5 tbsp ice cold water
- 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- pinch of salt
- Make the pie crust. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together. Using a pastry cutter or your finger tips, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until pea sized pieces of butter and shortening are formed. Add the lime juice and 3 tablespoons of ice water. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together, adding more ice water if necessary. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once chilled, roll out the dough till 1/4 inch thick and large enough to fill a 9 inch pie plate. Place the dough in the pie plate, trim the edges and chill for another 30 minutes.
- Make the filling. While the dough is chilling, mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes then pour into to prepared pie crust.
- Make the crumb topping. In a small saucepan, brown the butter. In a small bowl mix the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt together. Pour the browned butter over the flour mixture and stir together. Pour the crumb topping over the pie filling.
- Bake the pie at 400F for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F and continue baking for another 40 minutes, until the bubbles. The pie may leak, so place a baking sheet underneath the pie plate to avoid a messy oven.
- Let the pie chill completely before serving (at least 3 hours)