Banana jam is a wonderful condiment to have in your kitchen. It's perfect on toast, works beautifully on ice cream and if you love your bananas — then you'll go crazy for this recipe.
In simple terms, banana jam is basically mashed up bananas cooked in sugar syrup.
It's during this cooking process where the magic happens. The bananas break down and become soft, and within half an hour, you have this gorgeous dark brown jam.
Discovering this recipe many years ago, I was initially sceptical about how it would taste. Visions of baby food came rushing to my head!
But I was pleasantly surprised. This stuff is good!
Also, it's a great way to use up those pesky, dark bananas that people don't like! I know many people make banana bread — it's way overrated, I say!
Related: If you love jam be sure to try my mandarin jam - it's another perfect breakfast treat.
Bananas— I have only made it using regular bananas bought at the supermarket. The one thing I need to emphasise is — they must be overripe. The darker, the better.
Lime juice— the lime balances out the sweetness and provides acidity.
Sugar — I always use white sugar. I have never tested it with brown sugar, but I think it would work really well and make the jam even more caramel-like.
Cinnamon — it pairs perfectly with bananas and in my opinion is the best spice for this jam.
Vanilla — provides additional perfume and aroma.
It's as simple as making the syrup, adding the bananas, sugar and spices and stirring it. Observe it as it can bubble vigorously, and hot jam can be dangerous! Full instructions in the recipe card below.
Tips and Variations
- Just to re-emphasise your bananas should be at the "over the ripe stage" — think black. The younger variety will produce a banana jam that is "floury" and dull in taste.
- Store the jam in a sterilised jar for up to one week.
- Add a tropical touch by using brown sugar and rum.
- Add more spices such as ginger, nutmeg. Bananas are quite versatile — so don't be afraid to experiment.
- You can substitute the lime for lemon.
If you like cooking with fruit be inspired by my selection of recipes here:
Video - how to make it
- 4 bananas, medium to large overripe
- 1 lime, juiced
- 250 ml water
- 200 grams sugar, caster or superfine
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chop the bananas into small discs measuring approx. 2.5 cm (1 inch) and place in a bowl with the lime juice.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil over a medium heat.
- Once the sugar syrup is bubbling away, lower the heat, add the chopped bananas and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon and vanilla bean.
- Allow the mixture to boil and then turn down to a simmer. Stir continuosly as the bananas break down and become soft. Allow the banana jam to cook for 30 mins. (￼be sure to check on it every 5 mins and stir it).
- The jam is ready when it has thickened and become golden brown. Test by running your finger across the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool and store in a sterilised jar.
- Depending on the size of your bananas the recipe makes one jar - approx. 375 ml or 1 1/2 Australian cups.
- One serve is considered 20 grams or 1 tablespoon.
- Be very careful towards the end as the jam thickens - even at a low heat. It will bubble and spit.
- The jam should last about one week