Preserved: Banana Butter with Pumpkin Pie Spice
When I first stumbled upon this recipe, it sounded almost too good to be true. A thick, creamy, fruit-filled butter that made everything it touched taste like banana bread? I filed it away with a note to try it in the fall, when peaches and berries are long gone and everyone is craving homey comfort food. To make it extra seasonal, I added a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
I really, really love banana bread. In fact, if my waistline would allow it, I would probably eat two fat slices every day: one for breakfast, and another one as an afternoon snack. Biting into a moist, spicy-sweet piece of banana bread reminds me of baking with my mom when I was a little kid--mashing the ripe bananas with a fork; spooning the batter into her ancient, tarnished loaf pan; and licking every square inch of the mixing bowl clean.
This recipe yields a luscious spread with a jam-like consistency and a bold banana flavor. Best of all, it's relatively low in fat and calories, so you can savor all that banana bread deliciousness without the guilt. I've been slathering it on raisin bread toast, but it would also be delicious on honey whole wheat, or in a peanut butter sandwich (maybe with some bacon?).
A few notes on the recipe. I kept the ingredient list as short as possible, but if you're feeling inspired, go for it and experiment: swap some of the white sugar for dark brown, play around with the spices, or stir in some chopped walnuts at the end. This butter foams a lot. When you remove the pot from the heat, resist the urge to ladle it into jars immediately. Let it stand for three to five minutes and then skim the surface with a cold metal spoon. The banana butter will keep for about six months on the shelf if you process the jars in a hot water bath. Otherwise, store it in the fridge for up to three months.
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Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.