Spring is near…. Brown Sugar-Vanilla Banana Butter
So even the name of this recipe (although a mouthful) makes me giddy with excitement. “Brown Sugar-Vanilla Banana Butter”…. I mean who doesn’t love any of those things? I know I do. For some reason… after a long winter… and spring is just around the corner… I crave jams/fruit butters/and marmalades more than normal…which, lets be honest, I already crave these items in ALL seasons… but I long for them just a tad more when February rolls around. Maybe just because I am ready for warmer days… when I can walk out in the backyard and eat a pear from the tree… or lay in the field with the kids to look at the stars…without freezing. Anyways, this is a favorite recipe from one of my Jam Bibles “Can It” by Better Homes and Gardens. I have a few alterations to mine (for example I do not add any butter into mine, so I will give you my version of the recipe) First… I must start by bragging a little… I think I might just be married to one of the sweetest guys out there. Before we married, I was explaining to someone why I loved my soon-to-be husband so much… one of the reasons that popped out of my mouth was, “he always does sweet things, like bring me flowers.” What I mean to say, was that he was thoughtful, and always attempted to make my day brighter by doing simple sweet gestures, such as bringing me flowers…. anyways, the lady whom I was speaking to, replied, “Yes… but flowers don’t last forever.” Later on when I told my husband about it, he squeezed me with one arm and as he laughed at my sensitiveness to the whole conversation, he whispered, “oh hun, she doesn’t know it… but my flowers DO last forever.” So… every time the mason jars full of flowers start to wilt and dry… he notices and brings me home another bouquet to replace them. This has went on for nearly 5 years now. Thus the reason for the little brag session. 😉
What you will need to create this amazing recipe:
-4 Cups Brown Sugar
-2 Cups Granulated Sugar
-4 Cups Mashed Bananas (about 12 ripe bananas)
-1/2 cup lemon juice
-1.75 ounces (3.5 tablespoons) of fruit pectin
-1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
-1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans
Oh. Hello. This is me in my favorite room of the whoooooole house.
I like to soak my jars in boiling water (just put enough water in the bottom of each jar to weight them down), then set the lid on top of them to allow steam to sterilize the jars and lids. I just put mine on a low/medium heat the whole time I am making my jams/butters. This recipe makes 9 half-pint jars.
Put your 4 cups packed brown sugar into a large bowl.
Then add your 2 cups granulated sugar to the bowl and then set it aside.
If little muchkins happen to run in to help, stop and make them wash their little hands. ;)
Add your Bananas into a cooking pot, I prefer bananas that I am using in a fruit butter to be just a *tad* on the brown spotted side.
Use a whisk or potato masher to mash them up.
Add your 1/2 cup lemon juice into the pot.
Add your pectin into the pot.
Now stir, stir, tell your sister you are big enough to do it on your own, and stir some more.
Okay. Vanilla bean. This little tiny bean was 14.95 at the store. It even came in its very own jar. All by itself. Pretty sure this was as much as the rest of the ingredients added together. I usually buy mine online, but just hadn’t ordered them yet, 25 are 25.00 dollars (less as you buy more) here: http://www.beanilla.com/madagascar-vanilla-beans (<— order them, because I will be doing a blog post on how to make your own vanilla extract with them soon)Now, cut the bean down the center, lengthwise, and scrape out the tiny black seeds into your pot, then drop the bean in also. (Keep it whole you will be removing the actual bean in a couple steps)
Stir, sniff, and stir some more.
Place the pot on medium/high heat on your stove top.
Now instruct the little helpers game of musical chairs somewhere further away from the hot oven.
Once the banana mixture is boiling, stir in the brown sugar/white sugar mixture into the pot. Once sugar is dissolved, pull the long vanilla bean out with a fork.
This is where you can choose to add your chopped pecans if desired. I did half my batch without, and then half with. :)
I like to use a glass pitcher (like my measuring one) to scoop out the hot (be very careful) banana butter and then pour into the jars. It is a little messy, but easier to get it all into the jars. Screw the lids on and place them back into the canning pot you were sterilizing them in. Once it is back to a full boil, then cover and set timer for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool on wire racks.
Spread on some artisan toasted sourdough (or honey wheat, etc.) and enjoy. This is also AMAZING on waffles. :)
Watch your children devour 3-4 pieces of delicious toast.