Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We Be Jammin'... Caramelized Banana Jam

Vanilla Bean and Brown Sugar 
Caramelized Banana Jam
Found on averiecooks

Makes 1 - 1/2 pint 

When you have too many ripe bananas and just can't make one more banana smoothie or loaf of banana bread, make banana jam. It's fast, easy, and it isn't traditional jam, and there're no water bath or canning involved. Keep an eye on mixture while it's boiling, stirring frequently, so it doesn't burn. Paradoxically, the jam isn't overly banana-ey, because the lemon juice really brightens and balances the flavors. The cinnamon flavor is present, yet subtle enough to let the vanilla flavor really shine. If you don't have vanilla bean paste or vanilla beans, substitute with vanilla extract.


2 medium/large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups, mashed) 

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 

1/4 cup unsalted butter or vegan buttery spread (half of 1 stick) 

3 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of half of 1 juicy lemon) 

2 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or to taste 

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or the scrapings of 1 or 2 vanilla beans (or substitute with extra vanilla extract, to taste) 


In a medium saucepan (err on the side of larger than smaller because mixture bubbles up), combine bananas, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and heat uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, allowing mixture to come to a rolling boil. Allow mixture to boil uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened to desired level. Jam continues to thicken as it cools. Over the 15 to 20 minutes, stir frequently and make temperature adjustments to stove so mixture doesn't burn. Turn heat to low, and add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and stir to combine. You may wish to add less than the full amount listed all at once, and first taste your jam and see what it needs. Then, to taste, tinker with the ratio of cinnamon and vanilla. I used the amounts listed. Transfer jam to 8-ounce glass jar or heat-safe container with a lid. 

Storage is up to you. I store mine airtight at room temp, for up to 5 days. It will likely keep longer, especially in the refrigerator, but I haven't tested it. I have no idea about canning jam in a water bath if it will work or how long to process. Use the jam on bread, toast, rolls, crackers, dip apples or pears in in it, or make peanut butter and banana jam sandwiches. It would make a great crepe or stuffed-French toast filling or use as the filling in One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls. Incorporating a hearty dollop of it into banana bread or banana muffins would boost the overall banana flavor and moistness of the recipe. Or just eat by the spoonful.

Note from Canning Granny: The above recipe is NOT safe for canning, neither waterbath nor pressure canning... just making sure you know this so you don't jump on me (because, let's face it, some folks seem to like to find fault)! But it would be a yummy way to use up bananas... I would refrigerate.


  1. Why is it not safe for canning? I can banana jam all the time, what makes this one unsafe?


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