Friday, August 27, 2010

Yes! We have no bananas.....

Actually we had a lot of bananas today.  The local grocery store had them on sale for 15 cents a pound!  Granted these were the scratch and dent slightly used models but still, 15 cents a POUND!
I bought a few.... say somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 pounds.  My freezer isn't that big.  What to do?  Banana butter and banana jam!  Here are a few shots of what I spent most of today on:

Banana Jam, 4 quarts, 8 pints, 20 half pints (the color on that shot is off, really, they look just as good as the first)
And the banana butter as seen in a previous blog entry here, 4 pints
Now I bet your wondering about that banana jam recipe, right?  Well first let me explain what I have found while looking for canned banana recipes....

Obviously bananas are a low acid fruit and really should NOT be canned without additional acid added.  In fact many official places say the only safe way is to freeze the jam but, I found a few other sources that suggest the addition of lemon juice, these are those professional canner types.  So we add lemon juice, but what else can you do to help?  Apple juice and sugar.  This is a home consumption thing too, so don't go trying to sell this at farmer's markets, most have a thing against banana jams for the official reason listed above.
For the jam:

5 cups chopped bananas
5 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
Apple juice
1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove
1 pkg no sugar needed pectin (I'm really liking this stuff)
3 cups sugar

Place bananas and lemon juice in a large measuring cup and add apple juice to reach 5.5 cups.  pour into large stock pot and add spices.  Bring to a boil and partially mash or puree the bananas a little.  Add pectin, boil 1 minute, add sugar, boil 3 minutes.  Ladle into jars with 1/2 inch head space and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes for half pints, 15 for pints and 20 for quarts.

Or you can ladle this into freezer containers, allow to cool and freeze.
Or you can ladle into jars and put in your fridge.

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