My maternal grandmother was a tremendous influence on me. Today would have been her 96th birthday. She died 23 years ago when I was 23 years old. Half my life ago, yet my memories of her are still strong.
Every year I celebrate this day as a remembrance of her. She was my anchor and my guiding star. I know I am verging into the sappy zone here, but it is true. The sun rose and set on her.
I want to send out a big thank you to all the grandmothers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, and friends who invest in the children of their lives. It is a great and wonderful thing you do just by being there.
My Grammie loved fruit breads. I used to make her bundt cakes when she visited. In her honor, I will share a recipe for Banana Bundt Cake. It really is a banana bread with an icing, but I have terrible luck with banana bread so I am calling it cake. I made this over the weekend and it was a big hit.
Banana Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
3 cups pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Sift or whisk together.
4 very ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup oil
2 oz Pernod *
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
In a large bowl, break up the bananas with a whisk. They don't need to be completely liquefied. Whisk in the eggs followed by the vanilla, oil, Pernod, buttermilk, and brown sugar.
1/2 cup ground toasted pecans (optional, but it gives a wonderful texture to the cake)
1 banana, sliced
Stir the flour mixture into banana mixture with the ground pecans and sliced banana.
Pour into a well greased and floured bundt pan. If you don't have a bundt pan, use two 9 inch cake pans or two loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then turn it out onto a plate.
Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Whisk cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Whisk in lemon juice and zest. Add powdered sugar to taste. This icing should be thick, but not stiff. Pour over bundt cake.
This cake is quick and easy to make, tasty, and looks great.
If you don't have enough overripe bananas all at once, stick them in the freezer as they occur. When you have 4, it is time for cake! Frozen and thawed bananas mash very easily too.
* I you don't want to use Pernod, substitute brandy or just use more buttermilk.