Next time you are in Sonoma, CA take a drive along 116 through Petaluma and into Forrestville. Right before you head into Forrestville you'll cruise by Graton Ridge Cellars. I have written about this winery before and I must say that it continues to live up to its great reputation.
On our last visit Courtney and I got to taste their apple wine. Back in the day the winery used to operate as an apple orchard. They've savored some of their trees and use the apples to make a delicious wine.
Sue Bonzell, one of the proprietors, told me about a recipe contest using the apple wine and so I decided to try my hand at something.
My good friend John has just moved back from London and we really enjoy collaborating in the kitchen. On Sunday morning we drove off to the grocery store. I brought along four over ripe bananas that I had been storing in the freezer. My idea was to use the apple wine in the bread to give it more substance and an interesting flavor.
John added to the mix by saying we should create an apple wine creme anglaise. Crème anglaise (French for "English cream") is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is a mix of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavoured with vanilla.
The final dessert was served with a scoop of ice cream, a slice of bread and some of the creme anglaise. DELICIOUS.
Okay Sue and the rest of the Graton Ridge team. This one is a winner.
For the banana bread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup of apple wine (you can use apple juice if you do not have the apple wine)
- 2 tbsp sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir in apple wine and sour cream. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. You may have to cook it a little longer. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
For the creme anglaise:
- 2 cups of Graton Ridge apple wine
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
Simmer 2 cups of apple wine until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. It will become a little syrupy, this is okay. Combine a cup of heavy whipping cream with 1/4 cup of apple wine syrup, 1 tbsp ginger 1/2 tsp vanilla. Bring almost to a boil, remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes. Strain with a mesh strainer.
Beat together the two egg yolks with 2 tbsp brown sugar and pour in cream mixture. Re-heat over low heat, but do not bring to boil or sauce will curdle. Take off heat, let stand another 20 minutes and serve.
To serve -- place a piece of the banana bread onto a plate, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle creme anglaise on top.