Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All Good Banana Jam

Buoyed by my success at sandwich making (did I tell you, my Black Forest Sandwich won the People's Choice Award at the Urban Harvest sandwich contest?), I am now turning my hand to jam. While my sandwich making prowess has been honed over decades, my jam making skills are rudimentary to say the least. However, they welcome allcomers at the Welly Jamoff on March 25 and I figure you've got to be in it to win it - or something like that.

Actually, I'm just happy to be in it, especially because I reckon all the other 'jampetitors' will be crafting their preserves from carefully cultivated fruit and mine came from the supermarket. That said, I have been pretty selective. I haven't just chosen any bananas for my entry, but bananas with a social conscience. All Good Bananas are all about "changing the world, one banana at a time" - their Fairtrade fruit comes from Ecuador and it might be my bleeding heart imagination but I'm sure they taste better. I'd rather pay a little bit more for bananas for my family if it means the family that grew them gets some kind of payback along the way.

Whether that means my jam will make the cut on Sunday remains to be seen - but in the meantime, here's the recipe. It's really good spread on homemade bagels, dolloped on Greek yoghurt, used to sandwich a sponge or even stirred into porridge.

Easy Banana Jam Recipe

All Good Banana Jam
I've had this recipe since 2005, when I asked a web forum if anyone could tell me how to make banana jam without using artificial colours and flavourings. A helpful woman called Kerry sent me a version of this recipe, saying it was the one she used when she lived in Lagos, where the bananas have red skins. I've upped the cinnamon a bit and added walnuts, but you could leave them out.

6 ripe but not mushy Fairtrade bananas (choose ones with a gentle amount of freckling on the skin)
3 cups Fairtrade white sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons) - from our neighbours' tree
1 1/2 tsp Fairtrade cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts (fresh local ones, if you can manage it)

Mash the bananas with a fork, then arrange layers of mashed banana and sugar in a heavy-based pot. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and salt, then pour over the lemon juice. Cover and let sit for an hour, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks syrupy.
Heat gently and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Stir in the walnuts, then pour into sterilised jars and seal. Makes 4-5 jars. Store in the fridge once opened.

And if you're wondering what to do with those banana skins (apart from putting them on the pavement for comedy potential) this cake puts them to use. I can't quite stomach the thought of it myself, but let me know if you've tried it.

Anyway, are you a jamtastic type? What's your favourite to make or eat? Pin It


  1. I've tried my hand at Bannoffee Curd, now I just have to try this. Always have ripe bananas at home. Congrats on winning the People's Choice Award at the Urban Harvest sandwich contest for your Black Forest Sandwich, which I am about to check out.

    PS Missed reading your blog, now that i am settled in I can catch up with the blogging and the reading.

  2. I have never thought of making banana jam, but I can imagine how good it must be. I am intrigued by your winning sandwich too.

  3. This looks amazing! Looking forward to sampling it on Sunday!

  4. Fantastic recipe and one I will be making for Hubby very soon. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Banana jam sounds perfect for banoffee sandwiches :-)

    Congrats on winning the contest

  6. Congrats on winning the contest and this looks and sounds fab! I am a REALLY big jam person, LOVE it, and I make all sorts, from curds to jellies......any fruit will do in a jam!

  7. Congratulations!! That is an awesome accomplishment ! All the best for the jam-wars - !! Never tried banana jam - looking fwd to making some myself :)
    Am not sure if I can bake with banana skin I rather use it for comedy potential :)

  8. I wasn't sure that I would like banana jam, but I opened the jar as soon as I got back to the office and the workmates & I got stuck in - and it's delicious! Not nearly as sweet as we thought it would be. Hugely looking forward to Sunday now :-)

  9. wow- banana jam! in fact i didn't even know it existed... but now i do. thanks for the recipe- i will try it. yours looks yum. good luck at the jam competition!

  10. Never ever heard of banana jam before, how unusual? How long does it keep for before opened in comparison to ordinary jam?

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