Yes - that is right? Strawberry banana Jam! It is a thing and it is divine. This simple jam will become your favourite summer fruit jam. Stawberry banana is a classic flavour combination, it only made sense to make a jam.
This post was originally published in June 2011, I've updated the post with new pictures and clearer instructions for waterbath canning.
This jam is divine. Strawberry banana is a classic flavour combination and this strawberry banana jam will quickly become your favourite.
Consider your next peanut butter and jam sandwich with just a hint of banana. Just enough to notice. A wonderful thing.
Its' so good.
I couldn't keep the kids away.
Our jam is made from the strawberries growing in the backyard (a mother's day present gone wild - who knew 2 little plants could become a patch so quickly?) The banana flavour is subtle, just enough to make you say "oh.."
Those small "local" strawberries work best. More flavour per square inch than those gignormous supermarket berries.
Must you use a waterbath to make jam
Yes - you should always process your jam. The simplist and lowsst cost way to do this is using a waterbath canner.
There was a time when I might have recommended filling the jars and letting them seal naturally. I have come to learn that jam should always be processed to ensure long term safe storage. An unprocessed jar is a perfect place for bateria to grow. And while your grandma may never have done it and "no one ever died" Why take any chances?
Waterbath canning does not take that long. Yes it can be hot and heat up the kitchen, but it is not that complex. Even with small batch jam (actually my prefered method of canning) I'm able to throw a small batch together, prepping the jars to cleaning up my mess, in a couple of hours.
Don't skip the waterbath processing. Just don't.
If you are new to water-bath canning or just want to see my workflow see this post for step by step instructions and information about the gear you need.
How to make strawberry banana jam
About the ingredients
Pectin: You will need pectin for this recipe. I used Certo Light Pectin in this recipe. Other types of pectin may require different techniques or quantities of sugar. Pectin is not interchangable. Light pectin allows me to use less sugar than regular pectin. Just enough to get right level of sweetness. Certo Light Pectin requires ¼ cup sugar to be mixed with the pectin crystals and cooked into the fruit separately.
Crush the berries: do this in layers; in a large bowl, 1 layer at a time, pouring each crushed layer into your measuring cup before adding more berries to your crushing bowl. Crush the berries with a potato masher or fork. Do not use your blender or food processor to chop the berries. Do the same with the banana. Continue crushing the fruit until you have 6 cups.
Banana: This is a strawberry jam. Not a banana jam. Banana is just a highlight flavour. Banana is a relatively low acid fruit and cannot be used on it's own or in large quantities in jam making (using the waterbath method). So keep the ratios below: 5-½ cups of crushed berries and ½ cup of mashed banana. You will need about 1 large banana. Banana should be just yellow and slightly spotted.
Lemon juice: To keep the acidity up in the jam add a little bit of lemon juice. The lemon brightens the flavours for a fresh tasting jam.
Sugar: Don't reduce sugar in this jam in order to keep the acidity levels right.
Boil the jam: In a large saucepan, add fruit, lemon juice and pectin (mixed with ¼ cup of the measured sugar) and boil over high heat. Once boiling add remaining sugar and return to a hard boil. A hard boil means the fruit is bubbling and spitting all over the place and boil hard for exactly 1 minute.
Skim off the foam: Remove from heat, and stir and skim for 5 mins. Skim off any foam that collects on top. It is important to stir and skim for the full 5 mins, this helps create clear jam and ensures the fruit does not float to the top as it sets.
Sterilize the jam jars: To sterilize the jars I keep them either simmering in the waterbath canner while I clean the fruit and cook the jam, or I keep them in the oven at 225 degrees for at least 10 minutes.
Fill jars: to ¼ inch from the top of the rim of the jar. Wipe the rim clean, place seal and screw cap on jar and tighten. Place in the water bath canner and process for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove from the canner and set aside to cool undistribed for 24 hours before moving to storage.
Serving and storage
Swirl this jam into vanilla yogurt for a sublime treat.
Of course PB&J or just on butter toast.
Once openned jam will keep for several weeks refrigerated.
Sealed jars will keep for about 1 year in a cool, dark pantry.
Strawberry Banana Jam
- waterbath canner
- 8 half pint or 4 full pint canning jars with 2 piece lids
- 1 pkg pectin I used Certo Light Pectin powder
- 6 cups crushed fruit at least 5 cups of crushed strawberries with enough banana to make a full 6 cups
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4.5 cups white sugar
- Crushing the berries: do this in layers; in a large bowl, 1 layer at a time, pouring each crushed layer into your measuring cup before adding more berries to your crushing bowl. Crush the berries with a potato masher or fork. Do the same with the banana. Continue crushing the fruit until you have 6 cups.
- Combine fruit pectin with ¼ cup of the measured sugar. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine pectin mixture, lemon juice and the fruit. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling add remaining sugar and return to a hard boil (this means the fruit is bubbling and spitting all over the place), and boil hard for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, and stir and skim for 5 mins. Skim off any foam that collects on top. It is important to stir and skim for the full 5 mins, this helps create clear jam and ensures the fruit does not float to the top as it sets.
- Fill warm, sterlized jars with the hot jam. Filling one jar at time. Wipe rims if necessary and add hot snap lid, securing with screw top rings until just fingertip tight. Waterbath process for 5 minutes. Processed jars will keep for 12 months in a cool, dark pantry. Once opened use within 5-6 weeks.