This recipe provides a great way to use up overly ripe bananas with ingredients that are already in your pantry, or will be after you make this!
Vanilla beans should be in your pantry for a few reasons:
- to make your own vanilla extract
- for vanilla ice cream
- to add to jams and fruit butter
- to mix into butter with a pinch of salt
Is that enough? It is for me.
Vanilla beans are expensive if you buy them at the grocery store, fine food markets or pretty much anywhere but from a local distributor or online. Penzyes Spices, which we all know I love, is great for everything but vanilla beans – they’re $10 for 4, an astronomical price if you actually use them frequently. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, just behind saffron.
Tamre found a place where we could buy several pounds of them for cheap, so we found a few friends and split the cost of them together. If you want to know exactly where we purchased them, leave a comment with your email and I’ll send you the deets.
I stumbled upon the idea for banana butter while I was flipping through pages of Tart and Sweet, a canning and preserving recipe book similar to Food in Jars. There were two recipes – one for banana butter and one for banana vanilla rum butter. I decided to skip the rum and make a vanilla banana butter so that vanilla was dominant and not overpowered by the rum.
If you look closely, you can see the dots of vanilla seeds.
Vanilla Banana Butter
Makes 4 half-pints
- 3 pounds ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (can use light or dark)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 lemon juice
Peel bananas and break them apart into a medium-sized pot. Add brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla pod to the pot and stir, bringing to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until bananas is broken down completely. You can speed up the process with an immersion blender but don’t over the process.
Sterilize your jars and add hot vanilla banana butter, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes; let cool and store. I’ll be enjoying this butter with some English muffins and peanut butter!