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Banana Jam

I need to fire my food stylist
There are times when food blogging can be a difficult thing. You get to the end of the long day at work and come home, only to find that all you have in the fridge are a can of tuna, a carrot, some limp lettuce, and piece of blue cheese that isn’t supposed to be blue. Then you have to somehow magically conjure something out of them all that would make Gordon Ramsey stop swearing and act like a normal human being for at least the time it takes him to eat it.

This is not always easy…

Then of course there are times where being a food blogger is great. Like when you get to travel interstate and/or overseas and meet up with lovely people who appreciate the food that you do, and give you delicious little presents for you to take home. Sharon and I were lucky enough to have just that happen when we met up with Deborah in Sydney last month, and had a great time trying to smuggle her delicious banana jam back into the state.

So rather than risking quarantine laws again, or having to resort to some kind of undercover espionage to secretly ferry truckloads of the stuff in, I decided it was probably time to try the recipe myself.

So the orginal recipe is right here, but for the sake of easiness and to help my non-existent ad revenue, I will reprint the details here with a few of my modifications.

Jamaica (Australian) Banana Jam Recipe


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about one medium lime)
  • 3 1/2 cups diced very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

How I made mine

Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl and chop the bananas into it in little chunks. I didn’t really need to worry about my bananas darkening, because they were so ripe they had darkened already. To take into account for having overripe bananas, and hence sweeter bananas, I simply reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe by about 3/4 of a cup.

So then measure the sugar and water into a pot, and stir to dissolve sugar as you bring syrup to a boil.

Once it’s just starting to boil, add banana mixture and boil over low heat for about 30 minutes or until thick. Keep stirring it all the time to stop it from sticking to the sides, and to kind of mash up the banana as you go. Along the way add the cinnamon to the mixture, adding less or more depending on how much you want this flavour coming through. The mixture will slowly start to cook down over time, and will eventually turn into a thick gooey kind of paste, which will get even gooier after it cools down.

The jam is done when a spoon scraped across bottom of pan leaves a track that closes slowly.

Once you’re done, spoon the jam into hot sterilized jars and seal. I used the thinking man’s approach and reused the jar Deb gave me in the first place, which seemed to work quite nicely. I had one whole jar full, and a another half a jar or so left over. Don’t ask my what it is in metric quantities because I have no idea, but suffice to say you could easily double the whole recipe and make a whole bunch of this if you were so inclined. Once your friends and family get a taste you will have no problems getting rid of it.

Another couple of tips are not to try and lick the spoon while you’re making this, or you will more than likely burn your tongue, just like I did. And it will not be a comical Tom and Jerry like episode where you run around with steam pouring out of your mouth looking for a bucket of water to douse your head in… It will hurt.

Well that’s about all really. It was quite a lovely recipe to make, and I’ve enjoyed it very much over toast, crumpets, english muffins, and a variety of other toast like foods. I also think it would be fantastic on a batch of fresh scones with butter and cream… So maybe I should find a good recipe for them too… Deb ? :)

Banana Jam

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54 Responses to “Banana Jam” (38,711 views)

  1. Banana Jam! this jam is mouth-watering. i love bananas, so i do try it and wannt to eat with muffins. Matt, i probably perhaps lick the spoon while i’m making this.^^

    June 2, 2007 at 11:01 pm Reply
  2. I’ve never tried banana jam before. Looks interesting and yet quite simple. Must have a go. Lol. Had a chuckle about the “licking the spoon” comment.

    June 3, 2007 at 2:52 am Reply
  3. Wow – this is something I never would have thought of. Banana Jam. I’m not so big on canning, so I think I’d just sterilize the jars and distribute with instructions to eat right away. Must try this recipe.

    One question – why on earth would a prepared food like this be subject to quarantine? In the States, Hawaii and California have produce quarantine laws. Things like marmalade are allowed, but don’t try to bring a fresh orange into California, even if it came from there in the first place!

    June 3, 2007 at 5:09 am Reply
  4. Millufe, you have been warned ! :) Licking spoons when they are really hot and covered in a caramel like substance is a bad idea in general… especially because sometimes the caramel sticks to your tongue and doesn’t come off fast enough :) But I know what you mean… it’s a difficult temptation to resist.

    Peter, I hadn’t tried it either, but I reckon we might just be hooked on the stuff. I ended up whipping up a batch of scones this afternoon (after starching the sheets, balancing my cheque book, and scubbing the walls), and it was equally good on them :)

    Larry, I’m not sure it would have been confiscated, but we didn’t want to take the risk. Quarantine laws apply to all fresh fruits and vegetables, but also apply to honey coming in to Western Australia from other states… so it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if they pulled us up for banana jam too… plus I didn’t want to risk a cavity search for a jar of jam :)

    June 4, 2007 at 10:10 pm Reply
  5. I have never heard of banana jam, but it sounds terrific, and very different!

    June 5, 2007 at 9:25 am Reply
  6. I have never had banana jam before – I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of it! I can imagine it being wonderful on a nice toasted piece of bread….yum, I’m gonna try it out!

    June 6, 2007 at 10:45 pm Reply
  7. Such a preponderance of Deb’s :) Thank you both Deborah’s, I’m glad you found your way to my humble blog and I’m glad you liked this recipe… I managed to make some scones (biscuits I think to Americans) the other day as well, and can confirm that this jam is equally delicious on them… with a good dollop of butter.

    June 7, 2007 at 9:46 am Reply
  8. Sounds and looks scrummy. Will try.

    June 7, 2007 at 10:15 pm Reply
  9. How interesting! I’ve never heard of this before but it looks delicious.

    June 8, 2007 at 6:49 pm Reply
  10. Sid




    I forgive you, and Deb, and the Jamaicans, apparently, for bringing this abomination to the world wide webs.

    *Mumbling* I mean really, taking a perfectly good thing like jam and putting nasty bananas in…*

    June 9, 2007 at 4:54 am Reply
  11. zeeba

    banana jam….thats wild!
    my husband will be thrilled, he loves anything banana. will leave the spoon licking to him!

    June 9, 2007 at 5:37 pm Reply
  12. Maria

    Hey there! It’s been a while When I saw this post, I had to try it out. I didn’t have any fresh bananas so I used frozen ones and roasted them for a bit. Didn’t have lime juice either, so I used apple cider vinegar instead. I also used brown sugar and a cinnamon stick and threw in a section of a vanilla bean for good measure. Although the result doesn’t look as pretty as yours- what with the sun shining through the mellow yellow- (mine looked more like poo), the taste was incredible. The next morning I made a peanut butter and banana jam sandwich which was oh so yummy. I then thought- hmmm peanut butter shortbread and banana jam cookies. Exelente! Thanks for the idea and the great photos to tempt with.

    June 10, 2007 at 10:04 pm Reply
  13. So much banana jam love out there… I’m glad *most* of you (or at least those without deep seeded banana issues) got something out it. I just hope I’m not responsible for a spate of tongue burnings around the world… :)

    Maria, poo colour is not necessary a bad thing… mine was pretty dark when I first made it… umm.. the jam that is… but it seemed to lighten a bit later on… Glad you took the initiative and substituted randomly available ingredients and still got a great result… It really just is an essence of banana in jam form… So you really can’t go too wrong.

    June 11, 2007 at 8:26 am Reply
  14. This jam looks awesome! I am definately going to make this! Yum! Well Done!

    June 17, 2007 at 6:28 pm Reply
  15. ash

    Mum inherited the tradition of Grandfather’s apple jam. But, bananas being my favourite fruit, I can imagine that this tastes good too. I might… leave this around mum’s kitchen.

    June 23, 2007 at 12:16 am Reply
  16. Ros

    I had banana jam when I was a kid (30 odd years ago)at an aunties place and have been looking for recipe or jam most of my adult time. This a recipe I will definately be trying. Thanks.

    July 21, 2007 at 3:46 am Reply
  17. y

    Not really into banana..jam, but love that first sticky lid photo. Growing up, I never quite got to appreciate bananas as a fruit because my dad was always harping on about how much fibre they have and how great that is for regular bowel movements. I don’t mind banana bread though.

    July 24, 2007 at 7:36 pm Reply
  18. Yum… I’m finally going to try making up a batch of this stuff this week, can’t wait!!!

    January 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm Reply
  19. Cheers Anna (and everyone else).

    Hope it turns out well… let me know how you go :)

    January 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm Reply
  20. I did it, last night, and it’s divine. Will be posting about it tonight. Sooo yum, brilliant with peanut butter in toasted sandwiches.

    January 17, 2008 at 8:13 am Reply
  21. Excellent stuff :) I used to eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches as a kid… (Canadian Aunty), so I think that would be a fantastic combination. Well done :)

    January 17, 2008 at 9:06 am Reply
  22. Jesus! I’ve never heard of banana jam before and now I’m wondering how I’ve lived my life this long without it! I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    January 24, 2008 at 6:41 am Reply
  23. Hallelujah ! I’m glad this has been a life changing experience for someone :) Let me know how it turns out…

    January 24, 2008 at 12:06 pm Reply
  24. Elena

    Fifteen years ago I found a banana jam recipe in my grandmother’s 19th century cook book. Not everything is new under the sun, hey?!
    Banana and Orange Jam
    12 good size bananas, peeled and sliced
    Weigh and add 12 ounces of sugar for every lb of bananas
    Add pulp and juice of 6 oranges and 4 lemons
    Let it all cook slowly for 45 minutes
    Pour in jars and cover.


    November 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm Reply
  25. Andrea

    A few years back I was given a case of very rip banannas. Yes I made lots of things but one thing I did was cook the banannas down as in the receipe above but I also added some strawberrys to them aprox 1 strawberry to 1 bananna sorry I had no receipe just kinda did with what I had. But I did end up with a nice strawberry / bannana jam that I just kept in the frig instead of canning. Was well enjoyed favoorites were milkshakes, pancakes and ice cream. Hope this gives a few more ideas. will definatly be trying this receipe

    June 5, 2009 at 2:29 pm Reply
  26. lekshmy

    really homely without any chemicals. i drooled when smelled it.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm Reply
  27. i have just made this and it is delicious! thanks for sharing the recipe…i didnt have limes so at the risk of making it less carribean influenced i added lemon juice instead- still fantastic

    September 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm Reply
  28. Jennifer

    This was fast and easy. I generally put overripe bananas in the freezer until I have enough to make something. This was that perfect recipe. I made almost 4 half pints.

    November 2, 2009 at 3:13 am Reply
  29. Mazey

    Our banana tree just bestowed almost 100 bananas upon us this week! After donating to the neighbors we still have more than a dozen so this sounds right up my alley. My question is this: how long will this keep in the refrigerator? I’d like to make a few batches to make holiday gifts but that’s a month from now. Thanks for the terrific idea!

    November 28, 2009 at 5:16 am Reply
  30. Sujith

    Hi.. A good Recipe.. I suggest adding a pinch of Sodium Benzoate which would act as a wonderful preservative.

    December 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm Reply
  31. Anna

    So, this sits well canned in jars for a length of time?? Or does it have to be refrigerated??

    December 31, 2009 at 6:54 am Reply
  32. Suzy

    I just had an amazing breakfast in London. Homemade breads and a selection of homemade jams – one of which was banana. It was so yummy I had to search for a recipe. I can’t wait to try this!! I was thinking it would be great to make a banana cake – slice it in half and spread this in the middle. Maybe top with a dark chocolate ganache….

    April 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm Reply
  33. Betty kenney

    Hi my name is Betty Kenney and I am from South Australia. well I am in the process of cooking it now, only I didn’t have Lime Juice so I am using half a lemon and a half green orange, seeing they are citrus fruit also I am hoping it will work, I will wait till it’s cooked and let you know, even though it will be better cold my friends are coming to morning tea so I will try it with homemade scones and cream. By the way I am cooking it in the micowave and it’s looking good so far after 15mins, needs a bit more time though, woops it boiled over, just need about 5 mins tastes lovely you will have to try it cheers betty

    April 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm Reply
  34. austin s

    This is delicious! Tastes great with peanut butter!! I didnt use the cinnamon but I’m sure it would taste good as well.

    May 18, 2010 at 10:08 am Reply
  35. Future Masterchef of Australia

    Are you matt as in Matt Preston? I’m making this tomorrow, just went to a fete and the river fires on, so have to make it tomorrow.

    September 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm Reply
  36. Gary

    Banana Jam, just tried some with some lovely fruit toast at a local cafe in Albert Park called Kamel, it was to die for! I went straight out and bought a bunch of bananas, just waiting for them to ripen up and i will make a batch of my own, can’t wait!!

    September 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm Reply
  37. Meaghan

    I would really love to give this recipe a try. Is it possible to water bath can the jars once they are filled?

    March 31, 2011 at 9:28 am Reply
  38. maya

    super delicious!!!!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm Reply
  39. shirin

    I am going to try it this evening for the first time! & i will put a pic of it on the page…lets go <3

    July 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm Reply
  40. Summer

    Made a double batch (except for cinnamin, only used a teaspoon) & we all LOVE IT! We being myself and my 2 ultra picky kids. So far we have enjoyed it on raisin toast and pb sandwiches. I plan on making pb thumbprint cookies with it and then….what am I talking about? This stuff is good enough to eat with a spoon!
    My isn’t as pretty as the pictures either :-( but I guess that’s what seperates the men from the bloggers, I mean, boys.
    I did properly seal and process my jars but am curious how long it will last. I plan on gifting immediately with instructions to eat now. But if anyone else knows how long it will last on the shelf, please share! Thanks for a great recipe!

    August 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm Reply
  41. Cynthia in Denver

    OMG THIS IS AMAZING!!!! I’m going to pour some over ice cream and indulge!

    September 23, 2011 at 10:29 am Reply
  42. Rachael

    I have always wanted to try canning, and my 6 year old daughter says she wants to help. When she saw this recipe, immediately she informed me this had to be the first one we try, as peanut butter and banana sandwiches are one of her favorite things. This sounds fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm Reply
  43. This should be processed 15 minutes in a water-bath canner, as should all jams.

    Do not reduce or eliminate the lime juice. It is in there for safety. You can substitute lemon juice for the lime juice, but do not use orange juice. It does not have the same amount of acid.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm Reply
  44. Gretchen

    Adding this to the list of jams to make during my marathon canning session over the Memorial Day weekend. I’ve never had banana jam but sounds delicious.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:55 am Reply
  45. Hmmmmm…. just found this post on Pintrest and anxious to make some Banana Jam. How interesting! Think I’ll use some on a grilled Pork Tenderloin!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:34 am Reply
  46. Kim

    Just came back from France and had my first banana jam experience – yum stuff! Now I’ve found a recipe that people are raving about and am going to make it myself! Thanks Matt!

    June 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm Reply
  47. Lisa

    Thanks for this…

    We have plentiful mangoes on the trees and I was looking for combinations that might work, Now that I know banana jam works I’m going to try banana and mango jam to go with my other varieties…

    Thanks again for sharing the banana jam recipe.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:19 am Reply
  48. This sounds like a delicious recipe. I just have to try it. I went out and bought the ingredients today, I hope to make the jam tomorrow and see how it tastes. :)

    March 18, 2013 at 4:44 am Reply
  49. Kate

    We just returned from our honeymoon in St. Lucia, where my husband fell in love with banana cinnamon jam. This recipe was perfect! I added 2.5 teaspoons of cinnamon to get the color and taste of the island jam. Thanks!

    March 19, 2013 at 8:07 am Reply
  50. Diane

    How long do you process this if you are canning. Can it be done in a water bath?

    June 11, 2013 at 11:19 am Reply

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