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

58 thoughts on “Banana Jam”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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 :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Banana…jam.



    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…*

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. I did it, last night, and it’s divine. Will be posting about it tonight. Sooo yum, brilliant with peanut butter in toasted sandwiches.

  14. 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 :)

  15. 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!!

  16. 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.


  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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….

  22. 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

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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!!

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

  27. 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

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

    1. do you know how long it will last if it is put in a water bath? I am a very small home producer of jam and I have been asked for banana jam and cant find one that has a idea of how long it will last.

      1. Considering I made this jam once or twice 8 years ago, I’m probably not the best person to ask how long it will last. I’d suggest you make some and test it yourself.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!!!

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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. :)

  36. 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!

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