Rye Banana Bread

Warning! This is not rye bread as in ham on rye. Finding ourselves with a banner crop of brown bananas, we whipped up a loaf of banana bread made with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey. We served it as a dessert with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

½ cup raisins or other dried fruit (dried apples, currants, etc.)
6 tablespoons or 3 ounces Rittenhouse Rye (you can also use bourbon or dark rum)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas, mashed (approx 2 cups mashed bananas total)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Put the dried fruit and Rittenhouse Rye (or your chosen liquor) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave for an hour or until the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid. Drain fruit and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and combine well. In a separate large bowl, blend the melted butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then stir in the walnuts, drained raisins, and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each addition. Scrape into the loaf pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours. Use the “toothpick test” (insert a toothpick into the center and when it comes out clean, the bread is done). Leave on a rack to cool then run a knife around the inside perimeter of the pan, invert the pan and your banana bread should come out ready to slice and serve.

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