Banana Jam

February 9, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Brown sugar, vanilla, dark rum, and lime juice make this banana jam your peanut butter sandwich's new best friend.

Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: Featured in: A Wintry Jam That's Totally BananasThe Editors

Makes: 3 cups


  • 6 large bananas (22 to 24 ounces, post-peeling), broken in half
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe


  1. Combine the bananas and sugars in a medium pot. Mash with a fork until the fruit is chunky and the sugar syrupy. Set over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Add the lime juice, water, and salt. Continue to cook at a steady simmer—stirring occasionally—for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum and vanilla.
  2. Spoon the hot jam into jars. I just seal with a lid and keep in the fridge—but sterilize if you'd like.

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Reviews (35) Questions (1)

35 Reviews

AmyEverAfter January 2, 2019
I made this today, and while it was absolutely delicious, it never reached a consistency anything like jam. I'm wondering if the water can be omitted, or if I should just keep cooking it until it's as thick as I would like it? It did thicken a bit while cooking, as the directions said, but even after cooling completely it was more like a banana sauce, not spreadable. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Author Comment
Emma L. January 2, 2019
Hey there! It sounds like it needed to be cooked longer; you could probably cook it again now, until it reaches the thickness you want. Hope this helps!
S. M. January 13, 2019
I skipped the water and it turned out great. Perfect consistency and so delicious.
Zeldaz July 27, 2018
Bananas are NOT safe to can. Freeze it to avoid the possibility of botulism.
Happycanning February 26, 2018
I made this recipe today. Think I will decrease the sugar a little next time as my bananas were nicely ripe. Is there a volume to the lime juice? I had a small and large lime, so I used all the small lime and half of the large lime. I could definitely taste it in the final product. I did can it. Just do the water bath method - 15 minutes. Let it rest in the hot water for 5 minutes with lid off, and take it out. All jars sealed for me. Thanks for the recipe!
Author Comment
Emma L. February 26, 2018
Hi Happycanning—about 1/4 cup lime juice, but you can replace some of this with water if you want it less citrusy.
Cuocopazzo February 19, 2018
I would suggest using vanilla, hazelnut, coconut, or maple extract (one teaspoon, not tablespoon) in place of rum if there is a concern. Thank you for this recipe! Any chance you have one for coconut butter? A bit of that on an English muffin with pineapple jam would be exquisite.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 20, 2018
Hi Cuocopazzo—I don't currently have a recipe for coconut butter but that does sound like an amazing combo!
Cuocopazzo February 20, 2018
I had it on vacation in the Caribbean. It looked like lemon curd, smooth, yellow, and creamy, both luscious and addictive. I think I'll try this recipe (fyi):
ibi February 17, 2018
Way too much sugar....!<br />Ripe bananas are already very sweet so I’d only add a tad of white sugar albeit none at all
ustabahippie February 16, 2018
I think I’d make this with dead ripe bananas and cut the sugar to a dab of brown, make a very small batch and eat it right up. Otherwise it looks fabulous.
Dayna W. February 16, 2018
Is there a substitute for the rum other than the artificial flavoring (blech). I want to share this with children.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi Dayna, just omit it!
Bonniesue February 16, 2018
Is the sugar there to help preserve it and make it a jam, or for other reasons? I've often just mashed a banana on my toast and peanut butter and it's yummy.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi Bonniesue, I like mashing bananas on toast, too! The sugar is key to creating a jam. Depending on your bananas' ripeness, you can slightly lower it to taste.
Kathy M. February 16, 2018
I am a new cook - 49 years old but better late then never. How would you store this and for how long is it's shelf life?
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi Kathy, definitely better late than never! I didn't can/sterilize my jar—just capped and refrigerated it. It's still good over a month later!
Janet M. February 16, 2018
Wow--perfect for using those bags of ripe and overripe bananas on sale in the supermarket. And for folks who don't have rum in the cupboard, there is perfectly nice rum extract in the spice isle of any supermarket--I'm planning to go with the real thing!
Brenda S. February 16, 2018
I find the rum extract leaves a chemical-y aftertaste - bourbon [my favorite], brandy, whiskey would all work in place of rum or just omit.
Meagan N. February 16, 2018
Can I omit the rum if I don’t have any?
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Yes! You can omit completely—or replace with bourbon if you have that around.
Mona P. February 16, 2018
How long will this stay fresh in the fridge?
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi Mona, mine has been refrigerated for over a month and still delicious!
Madelien February 16, 2018
I bought banana preserves at Fortnum and Mason in London years ago! YUM!!
Jennifer February 16, 2018
Can I use ripe bananas that I threw in the freezer - or will they be too watery?
Brenda S. February 16, 2018
Thaw and drain off the liquid first - reserve it separately and you can add if you need during cooking.
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
I haven't tried this recipe with frozen, thawed bananas—but, for what it's worth, I have used those for banana bread and you can't tell the difference!
Suzie February 16, 2018
how long can the banana jam lasts? please
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi Suzie, mine has been refrigerated for over a month and it's still great, so at least that long!
Sean R. February 12, 2018
Recommended ripeness for the bananas?
Author Comment
Emma L. February 13, 2018
Anything *but* green will work! If they're leaning toward underripe, you might want to increase the sugar. Or, if they're very freckly/overripe, you might want to decrease it. But this can all be done to taste.
Taylor S. February 11, 2018
This sounds exactly like one my mom and I used to make (safe for canning as well!) and it was always insanely delicious! So simple and different and tasty.
William D. February 16, 2018
If you dont mind how would you go about canning this one? I know it has lime juice in it which would bring acidity level up, but probably notbto the point of being able to water bath can it? Should it just be pressure canned?
Author Comment
Emma L. February 18, 2018
Hi William, I didn't preserve the jam that way myself, so I can't speak to which method is best. If you have a favorite canning method, I'd go with that! There isn't significantly more acidity in this recipe than other jams, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Zeldaz July 27, 2018
There are no USDA-tested safe recipes for canning banana products. Call it a freezer jam and stay safe. And low acidity is exactly what the problem is.