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Sour Cream-Blueberry Bread

The evocative flavor of vanilla is a favorite in quick breads. For the best flavor and quality, always buy pure vanilla extract, never imitation. Look for dusky Bourbon vanilla, bottled in Madagascar, or Tahitian vanilla, which has a lighter, more floral flavor and aroma.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-ripe bananas
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus
      extra for greasing
  • 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Mash the bananas well with a fork or coarsely puree them in a food processor. Measure out 1 cup and set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, butter and the 1 cup mashed banana pulp. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the banana mixture. Stir together just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the blueberries, taking care not to break them up. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Bread, by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2002).