Give the banana bread a rest and turn those ripe bananas into jam with this quick and easy recipe. Banana jam is perfect on toast, ice cream and sandwiches!
There they are again. Those brown speckled bananas that you were SURE were going to be long gone by now, but no…here they are. But before you reach once again for that trusty banana bread recipe, walk on the wild side with me.
Break out the brown sugar and the cinnamon and let’s make some easy, no canning involved, spicy, creamy banana jam. Yep, banana jam.
Those bananas up there are just the right stage of ripe for eating the regular way, but I promise that eventually, they got to a point where they were past the prime of their banana lives. As in more brown than yellow.
So while their chances of anyone peeling them for an afternoon snack were long gone, they were absolutely perfect candidates for banana jam.
How to make banana jam!
Mush those elderly bananas up and pop them in a small heavy pot with a half cup of brown sugar, some lemon juice and three tablespoons of butter.
Stir this concoction around until everything is nice and simmering, and let it bubble away for about 20 minutes or so. Make sure you stir it every 5 minutes just to make sure things aren’t sticking or burning (I set a timer for this because it’s entirely possible that I can get onto Yummly and look up to find out that an hour has gone by).
By this point, everything will be melted together and delectable. Don’t worry if it still looks runny – it’s going to thicken up a little bit more as it cools off.
Remember that this is banana jam, not jelly, so it is always going to be a little soft (think apple butter-ish), but that is going to come in handy on the various things you can use it for. More on that later.
Now comes a fork in the banana jam road where you have a decision to make, and that is how much of a cinnamon and vanilla taste you want to add in.
I am a big cinnamon and vanilla lover, so I go for the stronger end of the spectrum, but you might want to start out with less and add more as you taste. Yes, you MUST taste. It’s a requirement.
So, taste a test spoonful, add a little vanilla and cinnamon, take another test spoonful, and add more or leave it as is…you get the idea! Once the taste is good and perfect, let it cool off to room temperature. Don’t worry if it looks too liquid-y at this point – it will thicken up as it cools.
Extra tips for making banana jam!
I like to squish them up a little while they are still inside the peel and then squeeze the banana out on to a plate where I finish up the mashing with a fork. But you can also peel them without squishing and mash them with a fork or a potato masher.
Nope. You need them to be totally, completely ripe – as in lots of brown on those peels – or you won’t have the super soft consistency you need to make the jam. I promise it will be worth the wait!
And then….oh, and then! Then you get to try all the things that are possible with banana jam.
Serving it warmed up over vanilla ice cream with graham cracker crumbs on top.
Making a peanut butter and banana jam sandwich.
Spreading it on one of my mama’s homemade scones (recipe here!)
Rolling it up inside a warm leftover pancake.
The banana jam possibilities are endless. This recipe makes about a cup and a half, and will last for a week or two in your fridge.
If it even lasts for a day once everyone in your house finds out you have made banana jam!
Updated (and made even more delicious!) from a previously published Framed Cooks post!