Monday, March 24, 2008

Over Ripe Bananas Make Wonderful Jams

Here's the SeCond banana recipe as a gift to those who are honoring this blog with awards. Today, it's an authentic French recipe for Banana Jam. It's for Kathryn at 4urpets and every one else who already loves this new blog after just two short weeks. Just scroll down or click on the link if you missed yesterday's super moist Banana Yogurt Cake with cream cheese icing. It was a yummy recipe and you don't want to miss it.

I'm so glad to have received not just one, but two of these Royal Banana Blog Yumminess Awards! Thank you so very much! And the blog love today goes to Open Grove Claudia who is a beekeeper and to Aged Cat. Let them know I sent you when you go say hello to them ;-) .

And I'd also like to give a warm welcome to all the Sugar High Friday participants. I know it's not Friday ;-), but the deadline for entering a post is today, then the participants visit when the links are published on the last Friday of the month. It's my very first entry with Sugar High Friday and the theme changes each month, but this time the theme just happens to match this post so I'm entering. The theme for March is to "post the recipe for a dessert you made (or want to make) for someone else," and it's titled Sweet Gifts. I look forward to participating in this sweet carnival and getting to know all of you foodie bloggers.

Have you ever had banana jam? You can't find it in most stores and like all jams, of course, the best ones are homemade or at least from your local farmer's market. I have many childhood memories of homemade jams from my aunt. This aunt is a dessert guru. Anything sweet is her forte. And she would make the most amazing jams bursting with flavor. Each year she spends a few days preserving some of the summer's fruit harvest. I remember her putting those jams on a "Petit Suisse" as a snack for me. Petit Suisse is a fresh cheese originally from Normandy, similar to sour cream for its tangy and creamy texture. It is so good with jam or honey, or even plain sugar. Petit Suisse is not available here in the U.S., at least where I live, so sometimes when my taste buds get nostalgic, I'll serve myself a scoop of sour cream with jam. It's not exactly the same, but it's real close. It gives me that sour/tangy/creamy taste with the combination of the sweet jam. It takes me back to my childhood.

This is a recipe I've had for many years. It originally came from a magazine in France from when I was a child, but I've adjusted it over the years to make it my own. It's super easy and you don't need to know how to make jams or preserves. This one is as basic as it gets and it will only take about a half hour of your time. Anybody can succeed so don't be afraid to try it even if you've never made jam before. The rum adds that special gourmet flavor, yet the alcohol just burns off in the cooking. Now you'll have another recipe to use those over ripe bananas and you won't have to throw them out.

Banana Jam
2 lbs ripe bananas
3 3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 1/3 Cup water
juice of 3 limes (or lemons)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract (or use real vanilla beans)
1 dash of ginger powder
1/4 Cup of rum

Peel and mash the bananas.
Mix water, lime juice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger over moderate heat and stir until syrup thickens. Add the mashed bananas and let cook 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rum during the last few minutes of cooking to let alcohol burn off. Immediately place in jam jars and seal.


Yummy jam, awards, a new carnival, this all works for me. If you like bananas, you'll go bananas over this new recipe too. Don't forget to look at the other banana yogurt cake recipe too. For more participants, go to Rocks In My Dryer.


  1. I noticed that the banana jam was put over wafles. What else can you put it on?

    I would like to make some of this for gifts. How long is it good for in the jars? Or can you put them in a hot water bath and can them so they will preserve longer?

    I am really interested in this recipe. I t sounds delicious and it is very different.

    And thanks for the link. It's really appreciated.

  2. Those are great questions, 4urpets. This jam would indeed make a great gift, especially since you can't find banana jam in most stores.

    Banana jam will go well with anything you would put jam on, such as toast, crepes and ice cream. It can make a great cake filling too. It's really good to have on hand to use with vanilla and chocolate ice cream -- instant banana split!! And, YUMMY!

    I have never had this jam go bad, but we just don't give it time to. ;-) The jars will vacuum seal because you seal the lid when it is still hot. Plus there's a hint of alcohol, although most or all of it burns off if you follow the recipe.

    You could definitely use a hot water bath and do the full canning. Then, it would last as long as other preserves.

  3. I love this idea! We have so many kinds of bananas to choose from and they are sinfully cheap. I am eager to try this out.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  4. It sounds so delicious. I think I'll make some and make my kids peanut butter and banana jam sandwiches. It sounds so good I'll probably have to have one, too. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I admit it -- I'm just a hairless monkey. Almost anything with bananas in it appeals to me. Will have to try this.

    Oh, and thanks for the yummy! award! What a nice surprise!

  6. This looks great. I love about anything to do with bananas. Somewhere on my blog is great banana nut bread recipe. Glad I found your place thru WFMW, I will be back. I love to try new recipes...especially desserts. yummy.

  7. I always make Mom Barley's Banana Wonder Bread with my old bananas, but I'll have to give this a try too. Looks great over waffles!

    Stop by for a visit. I'll even save a waffle for you! :D

    Confessions of an Apron Queen:

  8. Hurray for blog yumminess!! Whoo Hoo!! :) Thank you so very very much! I am honored!

  9. I just had to throw some bananas out last week! This looks and sounds really yummy ~ I know the Brownstone family will be trying it!

  10. Ooh, it sounds sinfully delicious!

  11. Yum Joy! I have never seen banana jam before, so maybe I should give this one a try.

  12. I've never heard of banana jam before but it sounds delicious!

  13. Wow I've never had banana jam but I must say I love all the ingredients and the idea.

  14. This banana jam sounds really good! Bookmarked

  15. Wow, banana jam? :) Sounds delicious and worth trying. I added it to my bookmarks to prepare it later... thank you for sharing and visiting my blog ;)

  16. This question and answer might be of help to others reading this banana jam recipe, so I am posting it here too. The original and complete comments are on the post for a Blueberry Cream Cheese Fool from July 5, 2008.

    Blogger Vanessa said on July 9, 2008 ...
    This is actually a question about your Banana Jam recipe from last March~sorry I just found it and you! :-)
    Can you freeze the banana jam?
    (I'll have to try the Fool too!)
    July 9, 2008 3:34 AM

    Here is my reply:
    Blogger Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

    Hello Vanessa. ...
    Jams do freeze well. Ball and Kerr even make several lines of freezer jam jars. You do not need a special jar though. Make sure you do not overfill and leave at least 1/2 to 1 inch of head space for expansion when your jam freezes. There are also freezer pectins if you do not want to use the regular canning process.
    I have never frozen this banana jam so I cannot give you first hand experience, but I see no reason why it should not freeze well. Sugar and alcohol do change the freezing point, so it will require a colder temperature than for water/ice cubes.
    There are lots of details about freezing jams and canning in general at the Ball/Kerr website:
    July 9, 2008 11:44 AM

  17. Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe and I can't wait to try it!

  18. You are welcome, Ananya. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Hi Joy,

    Your recipe for banana jam sounds scrumptious! Just a question though: is the 3-3/4 cups sugar correct? Sounds like an awful lot (compared to other banana jam recipes). just want to make sure before I begin. Thanks :)

  20. evleensf: Yes, that is correct. Of course, it is possible to use less sugar to suit individual taste. Most jams do use a lot of sugar, not only to sweeten, but also as part of the preservation process. We also need to remember to adjust for the sweetness level of the fruit being used, as it will change over the course of the season and from year to year, etc. Enjoy. :-)

  21. i made this jam today and i tell you, its a hit in my household...thanks for sharing the recipe..


  22. Thank you, Alli. I'm so glad everyone loved it. :-)

  23. So glad to find this and can't wait to try it out! I purchased banana jam while living in Paris many years ago and wondered why American's don't do it. I can't wait to try it out. Thanks!

  24. I just tried this recipe today! It is very easy! I liked the flavor of the rum in it. I didn't have vanilla so I used amaretto liqueur as a substitute. My husband tasted it and loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I had so many bananas ripen at the same time and wanted to try something different with them.

  25. Susan: Thank you for letting me know. So glad this recipe helped you out and that you and your husband loved it. Great idea on using Amaretto. It's just like using almond extract.

  26. I want to make the banana jam, How long should i cook the liquids before I add the bananas??

  27. Anonymous: It thickens fairly quickly on a moderate stove. It will depend on the exact stove temperature, altitude/pressure, but it's pretty obvious when it has thickened. Enjoy the jam. :-)

  28. Hi I am looking for an unusual jam for christmas gifts and just for fun - I don't like rum could you suggest another alcohol?

  29. Anonymous: Susan (above) used Amaretto and loved it. Rum is the most traditional with banana recipes, and you could skip alcohol altogether too. You could also use banana liqueur. Other alcohols which go very well with bananas are Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac, Kirsch, Limoncello, or the liqueur of any fruit which goes well with bananas such as blueberries or pineapple.


Let's build a friendly community. Thank you for leaving a comment. :-)