The Recipe card: Banana Bread, a Homily, and the Human Condition

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Bonnie's Best Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Grease bottom only of bread pan. I used a glass pan.


1/3 cup margarine (or butter)

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 3/4 cups flour

2 3/4  teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

Grease bottom of pan only  (I think this is important as it rises well, and you can slide a knife around to loosen the edges.)


I usually add in a cup of walnuts or pecans, but don't remember Bonnie using nuts.


Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and beat well. Combine dry ingredients. Add into creamed batter, and beat until just blended well. Add bananas and blend until consistent. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.

this rustic free-form tart is quick and easy

Rustic Fruit Tart  Italian Crostata

Italian Crostata

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

Draw a circle around a large dinner plate (10" or so) on parchment paper.

Serves 4-6.


1 1/4 cup (plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) sugar

1/2 cup butter (softened)

2 large eggs (slightly beaten, reserve one)

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries (or two cups of seasonal fruit: blueberries, peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots).

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fine sugar, or use regular sugar


Combine 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, butter and 1 egg in a mixing bowl. Using fingers, mix into soft pliable dough. Form into 4" disk and place it on lightly floured parchment paper. Lightly dust the dough and roll into 10-inch circle. Recipe calls to chill it ten minutes, but I find the butter gets hard and the dough doesn't fold well, so I roll and assemble it. 


Mix remaining flour and sugar, and spread around center of dough, leaving about a one-inch margin. Spread berries or other fruit over mixture. Drizzle with lemon juice. Fold edges over the fruit, creating a rustic-looking small tart. Brush all the dough with remaining egg, and sprinkle with fine sugar, if desired. Bake about 35 minutes.


My tips: This makes a cookie-like crust, but I use a bit less than 1/4 cup sugar in dough. 

After you make it a couple of times, it is quick and uses what you have. For the pictured tart, I used wild frozen blueberries. I saw this years ago on the the television show, The Chew. The ingredients were ambiguous so I adapted the recipe from countryliving.com