Sunday Recipe: Banana bread that’s not terrible for you


This is an adaptation of my mother-in-law’s recipe, which, being the first banana bread I ever tasted, has shaped the way I think banana bread should taste. My then-boyfriend-now-husband would get care packages our freshman year in college, half-loaves of banana bread wrapped in tinfoil, ready to be slathered with butter. In retrospect, her recipe has way too much sugar, so I cut it in half. I also added another banana, a wee bit of salt and my go-to solution in making desserts healthier: whole wheat pastry flour. It’s not that it’s terribly good for your either, but it’s glycemic index value is somewhat lower, and more importantly, it has much more nutrients than white flour. Because it’s a pastry flour, it won’t weigh down your cake the way an ordinary whole grain would.

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1tsp salt
1tsp baking soda

1/3 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup + 1tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 bananas

optional: walnuts, chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients (in the larger bowl; in the mixer bowl if using a stand mixer), in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients by adding first the oil, beating the eggs in one at the time, then adding the buttermilk, mashed bananas and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix well.
Bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until done (time calculated for sea level.)

Recipe post: Lemon creme fraiche ice cream

This was a rare treat when I was a kid; to the extent that we had ice cream at all, it was from the store. In fact, I didn’t even think of it as ice cream then, but as cake (as it’s round and eaten in wedges.) In mom’s recipe collection, it’s listed as “frozen creme fraiche cake.” I know she first made it for a joined 40th birthday party she had with a friend, which was before I was born, and it was only made at very special occasions. In fact, I think the last time I had it was when I made it myself, for the reception after my dad’s funeral in 2006. It is, nevetheless, the most delicious thing ever, even though a stupid pesky illness is preventing me from having lemony things (I suppose I could have a little but, but me and creme fraiche cake has never been about moderation.)

(note: this recipe contains raw eggs. Since as far as I know, salmonella prevention is much better in Sweden than in the US, I would use caution in my choice of eggs.)

You will need:
A springform pan
Some sort of cracker-crushing implement; I use a mortal and pestle, but anything goes
1 biggish bowl
2 mediumish bowls
a standmixer or handheld mixer
a zester
some sort of citrus juicing equipment
a freezer with flat space available
aluminum foil

2 eggs (whites and yokes will be separated)
1 1/2 dl (0.63 cups) whipping cream
1 dl (0.42 cups) sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or if you’re nowhere near a Scand store, 1/2 tsp powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1 lemon
2dl (0.84 cups) creme fraiche
4 crackers (preferably McVities Digestive, but graham crackers work fine too)

Here’s how we do it:
Separate eggs and yokes; the yokes go in the big bowl, the whites go in a (very clean!) medium.
Whip the whites in the first medium bowl until they are very hard, you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them moving. Then whip the cream in the third bowl.

Zest and juice the lemon. On low, or with a spoon, mix the yokes with sugar, vanilla, the zest and juice, and creme fraiche. Fold the eggwhites and cream into the yoke and sugar mix. Mix well, but gently.

Crush all four crackers, and spread half of the crumbs evenly  in the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter over, then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top. Cover with foil and freeze for at least four hours, perhaps letting it that for a few minutes prior to serving (I prefer it frozen solid, but there you go.)




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