Bananas are a staple in our weekly fruit bag. This week I’ve allowed them to fully ripen in anticipation of making banana jam. Normally bananas or jams are not something I get excited about but I have been thinking about this recipe for several weeks.
Christopher and I were in Phuket three years ago for a Thai cooking class. That morning we ate banana jam with freshly baked croissants. The jam had an intense flavour from the banana, speckled with vanilla seeds, sweet with a hint of lemon or lime.
I remember the jam to this day and finally after years of talking about making it I have prepared a small jar ready for Sunday brunch.
350g banana, very ripe (3 or 4 banana)
200g caster sugar
½ lemon, juiced
1 vanilla bean
Cut the banana into fairly good-size chunks and put into a large saucepan. Add sugar, lemon juice and water. Cut along the length of the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the saucepan including the pod.
Stir the mixture on low heat until all the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to moderate heat. Let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes.
Place a small flat plate in the fridge to test whether the jam has reached setting point. Spoon a teaspoon of jam onto the plate and leave to cool in the fridge. With a finger push the jam gently, if the skin crinkles then it has reached setting point.
Remove from the heat, remove vanilla pod then pour into a jam jar that have been washed thoroughly in warm soapy water and dried in an oven. Seal the jar while still warm and leave to cool before storing.
Makes: small jar
Cooking time: 15 mins