Several years ago, I tried something a bit unusual. I was looking through a small cookbook, “Gifts from the Harvest,” from the makers of Sure-Jell and Certo, and found a recipe for banana butter.
This unique spread can be used in many ways. How about on a peanut butter sandwich? You can also make an easy banana split by using the banana butter as an ice cream topping. How about adding a spoonful the next time you make a milkshake?
I made a banana butter cake, which was a big hit with the family. I decided that it might be a good idea to keep some banana butter on hand just for this moist delicious cake, which seems to melt in your mouth.
I used a broiled coconut pecan topping on the cake, which adds a chewy crunch. Because of the delicate texture of the cake layer, it is best to drop small amounts of the topping onto the cake, then gently spread it to cover.
The next time you find bananas on sale, consider making some banana butter. I am sure you can find lots of creative ways to use it.
Email Prudence Hilburn at email@example.com.
4 cups prepared fruit (about 11 fully ripe, medium bananas)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon margarine or butter
6 cups sugar (measured into separate bowl)
Prepare jars, keeping the lids hot until ready to fill.
Mash bananas thoroughly. Measure 4 cups into a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Stir in lemon juice, then fruit pectin. Add margarine. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle quickly into prepared jars. Fill to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars 5 minutes, then turn upright. After jars are cool, check seals. Makes about 8 cups.
Banana Butter Cake
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup banana butter
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Topping (recipe below)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 tablespoons very soft butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut
Combine all ingredients. Drop small amounts over top of cake. Gently spread to cover.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to the batter alternately with sour cream. Stir in banana butter until smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into a 13x9x2-inch pan that has been greased and lightly floured on the bottom only. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. When cake comes from the oven, spread coconut pecan topping over it and return to oven. Broil until topping is lightly browned and bubbly. This usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Cool on a rack.