This jam is delicious on biscuits, toast, scones, yogurt, ice cream and is another great use for ripe bananas!
Banana jam? Oh my goodness, YES!!
Back in March, I received a really fun email. It was an invitation from KitchenAid to "a retreat" in Nashville. It didn't take me long to RSVP to the awesome opportunity. I mean really, who (if they have any kind of culinary affection) wouldn't love to spend a few days immersed in all things KitchenAid?
So, in mid-April, I packed a suitcase and headed to Music City. There were twelve bloggers in attendance from all over the country, and it was really fun getting acquainted with these talented foodies. The two days we spent together were beyond incredible; we not only experienced the wonderful food scene in Nashville, but were given the opportunity to learn about all the latest equipment the ingenious team from KitchenAid had been dreaming up.
One of the highlights of the retreat was the day we spent at The Food Sheriff, a state-of the-art test kitchen, equipped with all the latest KitchenAid equipment. The morning was spent with Chef Jonathan Waxman, who has received the 2016 James Beard award; Best Chef: New York City for his restaurant, Barbuto. He gave us a wonderful cooking class and prepared an amazing meal for everyone to enjoy. We also had the pleasure of visiting Adele's, Jonathan's Nashville restaurant one evening. I'll be sharing my favorite recipe from Adele's in a future post.
And the afternoon? It was almost too good to be true. Try to envision the fun that would result from twelve foodies loose in a kitchen with every dream machine imaginable! That's how we spent the afternoon. The wonderful folks from KitchenAid had arranged to have all kinds of fresh and staple ingredients available for us to work with.
They gave us free reign in this incredibly equipped kitchen. We mixed, shredded, blended, pureed, simmered, sautéed, diced and baked our way through the afternoon. Had you been a little birdie in the room, you might have laughed at the excitement as we tried each new piece of equipment. You also might have gone crazy over the delicious aromas wafting from The Food Sheriff that day.
My friend Julie, from Lovely Little Kitchen (check out her blog, it's "lovely"!) worked together in creating some Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies as one of our projects that afternoon. Everyone thought they were quite tasty!
After Julie returned from Nashville, she shared the recipe on her blog. She also caught a few fun pictures from The Food Sheriff that day:
What about the Caramelized Banana Jam? Oh yes, you definitely don't want me to forget that!
The morning we arrived at The Food Sheriff, there was a fabulous breakfast awaiting us, catered by a delightful Nashville restaurant called Biscuit Love. The spread was amazing; fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, eggs, candied bacon and tall, tender, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. There was butter and several kinds of jam to go along with the biscuits. One of them was an intriguing caramel color and was labeled "Caramelized Banana Jam". Hmmm... I took a little scoop. I make lots of jams and jellies, but I'd never heard of banana jam.
Oh my! - no one at our table could believe how delicious it was! We remarked that it tasted like Bananas Foster, but in jam form! I made a mental note to try to figure out this amazing condiment once I returned home.
I didn't get to it right away, but several weeks ago, I remembered the wonderful jam. I figured there would be lots of experimenting to do in order to get it right, but guess what? I discovered that Biscuit Love had actually shared the recipe with The Cooking Channel and it was available online. Woohoo! I didn't waste much time before I was whipping up a batch..
The jam was as delicious as I remembered and we've enjoyed it with our morning yogurt, on Ridiculously Easy Buttermilk Biscuits, scones and spooned (warm) over ice cream and sliced, fresh bananas (amazing!). I've also given it as gifts and everyone seems to love it.
The recipe calls for about 3 cups of ripe bananas, water and sugar. The water and sugar are combined and cooked till caramelized, then the bananas are added and the mixture is simmered till thick and beautiful. After cooking, a splash of vanilla and fresh lime juice is added. It's a seemingly simple procedure but the caramelizing can be a bit tricky. The water/sugar mixture can easily crystalize and, if you aren't keeping a super close eye on it, can turn from beautifully caramelized to badly burned, in the blink of an eye (I know both of these from experience!). I played with the recipe a bit and came up with an easier way to caramelize the sugar. I used my microwave, and found it's much less likely to crystalize and/or burn.
Banana bread, move over! You've got a rival - now there's another delicious way to use up ripe bananas!
Whip up a batch. I have a feeling you'll also be saying, "Oh my goodness, YES!!"
P.S. I've been using and loving KitchenAid equipment since the mid 1980's when Scott got me my first stand mixer. I was thrilled and stayed up all night, playing with it. I've had lots of other KitchenAid equipment since, and have loved them all. Over the years, I've called myself, "A KitchenAid girl" - now it's official, I got this fun little badge in Nashville!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 5 medium ripe bananas* see notes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar and water in a large (2 quart) microwave safe (pyrex)** bowl. Stir gently to combine. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap***, then poke 6-8 holes in plastic wrap to creating venting. Place bowl in microwave and cook on high power for 10 minutes.
While the sugar/water mixture is cooking in microwave, thinly slice bananas. You want 3 cups total. Place bananas in a medium-large pot.
After 10 minutes, mixture in microwave will be just barely turning color. Continue cooking for 2 minutes at a time until mixture is golden brown. Watch carefully during these last 5 minutes. Amount of time will depend on your microwave. Mine takes around 14-15 minutes to cook to a beautiful golden brown color.
When mixture is golden brown, CAREFULLY remove from microwave with oven mitts. Mixture will be very hot! Holding bowl away from your face, pull back plastic wrap and immediately pour mixture into pot with bananas. Do not try to scrape the bowl as there may be some sugar crystals on the edges of the bowl. Just pour in as much as you can.
Set empty bowl aside to cool for a 10 minutes, then fill with hot water and soak to clean.
Cook banana mixture on medium heat till bubbly then reduce heat to a constant but low simmer and cook till jam is thickened and bananas begin to break down and become translucent. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
Add the salt and remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and vanilla. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to small clean jars. Serve with warm biscuits, toast, yogurt, ice cream… The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Yields about 3 cups of jam.
Recipe Adapted from The Cooking Channel
* You want the bananas to be ripe but not soft and mushy. They can have lots of brown sugar spots but shouldn't be black. Don't try to use bananas that are still green in spots. They don't make a good banana jam.
** After one reader tried the recipe and her bowl broke, I'm amending the recipe to say microwave safe "pyrex" bowl. Pyrex is made for to be heat proof and safe in the microwave. The only thing you want to be careful of with Pyrex, is not submitting it big temperature changes, for example from the microwave to the freezer.
*** I recommend using a high quality plastic wrap that is suitable for the microwave. Most of the name brand wraps you find in the market have been test and will be labeled microwave-safe. You could also lay a piece of parchment paper over the top of the bowl for a similar effect.
Christina xenios says
Would love to try this banana jam recipe. Didn't know you could use bananas for jam. My problem is I don't like using microwave oven. Is there another way I could make this?
Thank you so much. Love your recipes
Chris Scheuer says
Thank you Christina, you could follow this recipe: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/biscuit-love-banana-jam.html It's the recipe I adapted this jam from.
That was an amazing opportunity and thank you for sharing it with us. I would be lost without my KitchenAid stand and hand mixer, they are my favorites. I get the feeling that this banana jam is going to be a favorite also!
This jam looks "to die for" but would like to know if it can be cooked on the stove. Thank you
Chris Scheuer says
Yes, the jam could definitely be cooked on the stovetop. I would follow the directions from this site:
Beverley Press says
how amazing for you and yes I am very jealous but that has calmed down a bit by this yummy recipe, love love love 🙂
Wow, I would love to try this jam, it is definitely something I've never had before. And I would love such a Kitchen Aid day as well...
What an amazing way to spend time in Nashville! You must have loved every minute playing with those Kitchenaid toys 🙂 I do love Bananas Foster so I know I'd love this Banana Jam too!
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
This jam looks incredible! I'm dreaming of Saturday morning pancakes topped with a heaping spoonful... yum!
Wow, Chris...what a fabulous time you had in Nashville! I remember receiving my first KitchenAid stand mixer, I adored it. I know I'd adore this jam too. you've presented it so beautifully. Pinned!
Wow! what an amazing experience, a Kitchenaid test kitchen amazing experience. Love this banana jam, pinned for later.
John/Kitchen Riffs says
I've been lucky enough to eat a Barbuto -- great place. How much fun to have Waxman teaching you! But the banana jam that you had at The Food Sheriff? Wow! What a neat idea. Totally fun (and tasty!) dish -- thanks.
We always have bananas in the house because my girls love them, I definitely need to try make them into this jam!
As a word of advice, if you take the glass dish out of the microwave and set it on your antique wooden sideboard, and the glass bowl immediately cracks and the bottom separates from the rest of the bowl, don't panic. Yank the trash can over and carefully pick up the bowl with the silicone side of two potholders and gently place it and the potholders into the trash. Then with other potholders carefully slide the boiling-caramel-filled bowl bottom into an old rectangular metal cake pan and allow to cool. Throw away later. Then as the caramelized sugar melts into the cracks of said sideboard, wait patiently until it cools enough for you to begin to remove the platters, pancake griddle, mezzaluna, and pizza stones stored on the shelves which are now coated with dripped hard caramel and spiderwebs of spun sugar. Soak all the candied dishes and wipe sideboard down repeatedly with warm water to dissolve caramel. Regain your sense of humor, and be thankful that you didn't get burned and that the workout you got from cleaning it up was better than the twenty minutes you spent on the ski machine this morning...and all you lost were a few dishes and the manicure you got yesterday. Then laugh it off, toss those sad-looking sliced bananas waiting in a pot into the trash and go run your errands, and vow to make this delicious-looking caramelized banana jam another day.
Chris Scheuer says
Oh my gosh! So sad! You do have a good sense of humor. I guess it wasn't a microwave safe pyrex bowl. Yikes, I will amend the recipe and say it should be a pyrex bowl. I've made the jam at least 6 times in Pyrex with no problem!
Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners says
Such a great experience for you in Nashville, Chris! I can only imagine the excitement in that kitchen. I would have been positively giddy. I love that this jam has come out of your trip and we get the benefits 🙂 I know I'd love this on my yogurt. Beautiful!
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I love Kitchen Aid. I have my grandma's mixer and I know it must be at least 40 years old. Works like a charm but my whisk attachment just broke so i have to see if I can get a new piece. What fun you must have had. Love that fridge! And I would love some jam to put in it!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
I am definitely adding this to my list to make asap! I can just imagine the flavour and I'm loving it already 🙂
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
What a wonderful trip and fabulous experience. You are one lucky lady! Love this jam - who knew you could do this with bananas - brilliant!
Ginny Hartzler says
What a dream trip!! This would be beyond my wildest expectations! I have seen Jonathan Waxman on T.V. several times. He is a super famous chef. This jam looks so unusual and delicious! I may have to eat it straight out of the jar. Or at least on vanilla ice-cream.
This looks delicious! I first tasted Bananas Foster at Brennan's NOLA when I was but a young thing. Then it became my go-to company dessert for years. We sometimes used to eat the leftovers on biscuits, but since it had rum and banana liqueur in it, I never made it just to be jam for biscuits. I must try this! Lucky you to have had this experience -- I am sure it was fun and informative! I wonder why you never see Bananas Foster on menus any more?
Julie - Lovely Little Kitchen says
What wonderful memories we have! Nicely done with the banana jam, Chris. What a treat!
Donna Oliphint says
I was just in Nashville this weekend visiting my daughter, and we ate at Adele's on Saturday night! The short rib was the best I've ever tasted. Their chicken was a little on the dry, flavorless side and could benefit from brining, but their caramel ice cream was dreamy, as was the beet salad. And I love Biscuit Love from a previous visit. Thanks so much for this Banana Jam recipe. Got to go get some bananas to ripen!
Vicki Bensinger says
You had me at caramelized! This sounds like heaven in a jar.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
All those KitchenAid beauties!!! What a great experience!!! Have never had a banana jam...sounds so fun!
Would this work with ripe frozen bananas?
I just have one question: can you can this? It sounds so tasty, I'd love to be able to give it as a gift for Christmas (I know, a little early but that's me).
Chris Scheuer says
I haven't tried canning it. I'm not an expert in canning so I don't want to say.
I'm in banana and Kitchenaid heaven after reading this post --- you are so lucky to have had that opportunity! Your jam looks so thick and rich, and I can just imagine the flavor from those caramelized bananas, I can't wait to give it a try Chris.
Chris Scheuer says
Thank you Sue for such a sweet comment. It was a wonderful opportunity.