Somewhere in the middle of winter just passed, I realized that my motivation to can had disappeared. Since I started canning three years ago, I have built a pantry of more than 2000 jars. I have meats, veggies, fruits, pickles, whole meals, and of course, jams. I had so many half pints of jam, that the shelves were sagging, so when Christmas time came, I put festive tags on about 100 jars and set up a “Jam Stand” in the front yard. I sold every last one. (The grand kids benefited greatly on Christmas morning!.)
As a result, though, I was left with a gaping hole in my pantry. In the middle of winter there isn’t a lot of cheap, fresh, perfectly ripe fruit to turn into jams and jellies.
With research, I ran into a recipe for banana/pineapple/coconut jam, called Monkey Butter. The ingredients are, for the most part, available year-round. I whipped together a batch, and WOW. So, I continued making batch after batch, until that gaping hole in the pantry was full to overflowing! Monkey Butter did one more thing, other than refilling my jam pantry: It re-ignited the canning flame, and I am back on track!
Hope you will give this a try. If you are a fan of tropical fruits, it’s a sure-fire winner!
P.S.: Don’t tell kids that it is made out of actual monkeys. Just sayin’.
MONKEY BUTTER5 medium-size perfectly ripe bananas (no brown spots) 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, not drained. 1/4 cup coconut (I prefer ground coconut) 3 cups of white sugar 3 Tbsp lemon juice (use bottled for uniform acidity)
Peel and slice bananas, then add all ingredients to a heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until thick. As the mixture thickens, stir constantly until desired thickness is achieved.
When thick, spoon mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, apply heated lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Other fruits can be added, particularly topical fruits such as mango (pictured on the left below.) Also, it is common for the butter to take on a light pink hue when processed. The sample on the right below was not processed, but just stored in the fridge…which I started to do once it became clear that this ambrosia doesn’t hang around long enough to require canning!)