This banana jam recipe has a bit of a pedigree.
I started making it in 2008, but we only 'perfected' it last year.
It's one of our most commented-on breakfast items at work and we get regularly asked for the recipe by our guests.
So here it is here. Immortalised. For all time.
My twisted interest in banana jam started at Centara Krabi Beach Resort in South Thailand.
There was such an abundance of tropical and exotic fruit, yet all of the hotels and resorts in the area used imported, standard, tasteless processed factory-made jams in boring jars or ugly 10 gram plastic trays.
The ones who offered bulk jams on their buffet bought them in 5kg pails from the Thai supermarket.
I have a bit of a thing about making the most out of what is available locally, and in season, so I added tropical Danish pastries and exotic fruit jams to breakfast for a point of difference.
Banana Danish made with banana jam, and banana jam itself were two of the first experiments, and earned themselves a place in the daily repertoire.
The bananas came from trees around the resort, and due to the lack of pectin, we used a starch based thickener. I was never really 100% behind it, but it was a very popular jam.
It tasted great, but the colour and texture could have been more appealing.
Here at Pullman Danang Beach Resort I decided that we should make the effort to create the ultimate banana jam.
We spent a week trialling different approaches to making it, and several different styles of banana jam recipe, and when we poured this one into the jars, we knew we were onto a winner.
Since we introduced this jam to the buffet it's just gone off the charts.
We make a big batch weekly and it walks out the door. People frequently ask to buy it, and requests for the recipe are…..the reason for today's post.
This banana jam recipe is rich, smooth, thick and creamy with a light colour and a deep rich banana taste.
The real vanilla beans add a decadent twist – this is the Rolls Royce of jam.
Smeared on sourdough toast, banana bread or a croissant – your culinary dreams would have come true.
The simple things in life ARE often the best.
We use it in tarts, it's AMAZING as a filling for sugar donuts, and it rocks as a base sauce for banana danish pastries
Banana jam recipe Ingredients
1500g bananas, ripe
60ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 ea vanilla bean, split lengthwise
75g unsalted butter
1 tbsp pectin
1000g sugar, white (or sugar, light brown)
Stainless steel saucepan with thick bottom
Thermometer for sugar/jam/candy
Dishwasher or steamer for sterilising the preserving jars
Funnel or spatula
1. Peel bananas and add to steel pot with lime juice. (If you add water you'll need to boil it off. This can give a reddish tinge, as can the choice of sugar used)
2. Add hard butter. Scrape vanilla pulp from the split beans, and smear the pulp onto the butter. Slice the vanilla pods in half, so the one pod is now cut into 4 pieces. Add to the pot
3. Heat to a simmer, stirring and crushing the bananas with a whisk or potato masher
4. Simmer and break up for 7-10 minutes over medium heat until the bananas are soft and starting to cook and mash up
5. Mix pectin through the sugar and whisk well to combine. Add all sugar and pectin to the jam in one fast action, stir through and keep the jam at a gentle rolling boil
6. Boil to 104°C (220°F), then pour into sterilised preserving jars. Close jars and steam for 15-20 minutes to preserve.This is really hard to measure by temperature, as it is thick and chunky. Measure 6 different parts of the jam, and you'll get 6 different temperatures. GRRRRR.
So look at the bubbles. They'll start by being small 'normal' bubbles, and as the jam reaches gel stage, they'll turn into large 'jelly bubbles' – they look physically different. Look for this change.If using a thermnometer, the best is actually a sugar thermometer, which rests inside the pot.
For your convenience, I uploaded this quick and easy YouTube video of us making this banana jam recipe:
Split the vanill beans and scrape out the pulp onto the butter. Also add the vanilla pod itself
Add into the pot and crush as you stir and simmer. DON'T ADD THE SUGAR until the bananas are cooked through and broken down.
After 5-10 minutes it should look like this. Now you just need to keep it at a gentle rolling boil.
This is the finished banana jam that Sharon and I made in the resort's open kitchen yesterday.
We made three of our signature jams – soursop jam, pineapple jam and pineapple jam.
Following Sharon's suggestion, we also tried an experimental mangosteen jam.
I really need to tweak the mangosteen recipe and get them in the middle of the season when they have most taste.
I added too much lime juice – the gel point was awesome but the taste was overpowered by lime.
I'll update that recipe when I perfect it
The banana jam, pineapple jam and soursop jams were……awesome
In fact the pineapple jam was so outstanding that it gets its own seperate page!