Though the recipe for Creamy Banana Jam is a recent innovation, Antoine has been making jam since he was a boy collecting blackberries with his mother in Brittany, France, where they lived. The smell of jam to him is like Proust's madeleines, each jar a remembrance of things past, he says.
Makes 10-12 jars
100 ounces bananas
50 ounces sugar
3 pinches of salt
1 glass of water
Juice from 1 lemon
1. Peel and slice the bananas (quite thinly).
2. Place the slices in a large pot with the sugar, salt, water, and lemon juice, and cook for about 30 minutes over a brisk heat. Stir regularly to avoid burning.
3. Remove from heat and puree the mixture with a hand blender.
4. Return to heat, and allow to cook for another 45 minutes over a gentle heat, stirring constantly. (Yes, constantly! That’s the secret! If you keep stirring, it won’t burn, but it will caramelize slightly and take on an amazing color and texture.)
5. Pour the mixture into jars (each previously cleaned with very hot water) and fill right up to the brim, leaving as little room for air as possible when you put on the caps, which you do now.
6. Stand the jars upside down on a dishcloth to cool for a few hours.
When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.