The strawberries were cleaned (all 30 quart) and jam was made last week between Thursday and Saturday…at least what I was willing to make. I ended up with all three kinds; strawberry, strawberry-banana and banana and a total of 7 full pints and 22 half pints. The remaining berries were frozen for later use. The leftover bananas, well, I made a couple of loaves of banana bread as well as drying a dehydrator full, and then froze those remaining.
I considered a few different recipes and as is somewhat customary for me came up with my own version for the banana jam. I liked the idea of adding a little rum to this jam, but the only thing I had in the house was a little Bacardi 151 and a little Malibu Rum. Needless to say I thought the 151 might be a little too much, so I opted for the tropical flavor and lower alcohol content of the
Cabana Banana Jam
8-9 ripe, but still firm bananas
½ cup lemon juice
4 ½ cups sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)
¼ cup water if necessary
Pour lemon juice into large pan. Slice bananas into pan, then mash up well with fork or pastry blender. Heat, adding 4 ½ cups sugar. If needed, add ¼ cup water to help liquefy. Cook over medium heat, bubbling until thick and gloppy, (you know, jam consistency), stirring occasionally as needed. (I should have timed this, but didn’t so my apologies. I’m thinking it cooked 40 - 60 minutes, possibly a bit longer)
When thick enough to call jam, you can remove from heat and can or do as I did and add ¼ cup
As I was making jam I realized I hadn’t done so in a number of years. Actually I think the last time was when we lived here prior and we had our own strawberry patch. And I realized that most jam recipes call for added fruit pectin which I have never used until this week. I only used it in my strawberry banana jam. The only difference is when using the pectin your jam sets up quicker. The longer you cook the jam I noticed the darker it becomes. My old fashioned strawberry jam turned out much darker because I cooked it a long, long time as opposed to adding pectin. You can see the jars on the right are way darker. The strawberry-banana jam is in center of photo and the banana jam on the left.