I learned how to make banana jam years ago. Bananas were marked down at the grocery store because they were getting spots. I was certain I would use them all before they turned and I didn’t. I really hate to see anything go to waste so I found a recipe that taught me how to make banana jam. Making jam isn’t difficult. There are several different ways you can make jam to store for the long term. You can freeze it. You can water bath can it. You can pressure can it. How you make the jam depends on the recipe you follow and the ingredients that you use. Some jam recipes require that you add pectin (powder or liquid) to help it set. If you don’t use pectin when it calls for it, your jelly or jam will be more like sauce.
How to make banana jam
My preferred method of making jam is to water bath can it. If you make freezer jam and you lose power, your jam will defrost and go bad. Using a pressure canner to pressure can foods isn’t something I enjoy. If you don’t do it correctly, it can blow up. I learned how to water bath can about twenty years ago and it’s a method I feel comfortable with by now. My grandmother (and mother) used to make jam and jelly and pour paraffin wax over the top to seal it and keep out bacteria. This method isn’t recommended any longer because it doesn’t work as well as canning to keep it free of bacteria.
- Water bath canner
- Jar lifter
- 3 crystal jelly jars with new lids and rings
- 2 cups of mashed bananas (about 5 small)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice
- Fill the water bath canner with water and bring to a boil.
- Wash the jars, rings, and lids.
- Fill the jars with very hot water to sterilize.
- Put all the ingredients in a pan and stir occasionally.
- Let the jam boil for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the jam into the jam jars. Leave ⅛ inch head space (clear space) at top.
- Wipe the rim of the jar to make sure it's clean.
- Put the lids and rings on.
- Using the jar lifter, lower the jars into the boiling water & process for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the water bath canner using the jar lifter and allow to cool completely on a towel on the counter.
Once your jars are completely cool, you will need to check to see if they sealed. If you press down on the top of the jar lid and the lid has no give up and down, the jar has sealed. If the jar lid is slightly raised or you hear a pop when you press the lid down, it has not sealed. Jars that have not sealed must be refrigerated. Jars that have sealed are shelf stable and can be stored in the pantry.
There is no pectin needed for this recipe. The bananas and the sugar cause the mixture to gel into a jam as you can see from the photo above.