I ‘m not going to lie, I’m humbuggin’ a little. As years go, 2016 has been a bit of an overbearing twat, hasn’t it?
We don’t need to go into it. We all saw what happened. We lost more great people than we gained, careened headlong into unknown territory, and haven’t quite found a quiet place to collect ourselves and find that lost shoe yet.
It wasn’t all bad. Good things happened which I am exceedingly grateful for (Gilmore Girls, La Croix)
And, you know… it’s that time of year again. Put down the cruddy attitude and do something to make someone smile. A hug, a nod, be nice in heavy traffic. Gifts.
This makes a nice gift, for yourself or someone you like quite a lot. It tastes darn nice with a scone or on a spoon while binge-watching *insert show here*.
Hmmph. Feeling better already.
Banana Butter With Lots of Rum
2 lbs aged bananas (5 or 6 will do it), peeled and broken into medium chunks
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
5 Tbsp. dark rum, divided
1 vanilla bean (or 1 Tbsp extract), split, seeds removed
Pinch of kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Place the bananas, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. of the rum, the seeds of the vanilla bean, and the salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a large, heavy-bottomed pot (or a deep pan) set over medium-high heat. Add the vanilla pod. Once the outer edge begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium.
Stir the mixture frequently with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching*.
Continue to simmer and reduce for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has darkened and thickened to the consistency of apple butter. You should be able to easily see the bottom of the pot as you stir.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the spices and remaining rum. Mix thoroughly, then simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes (still stirring).
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the vanilla pod.
Pour/squish into a heat-proof container and cover tightly. The banana butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Makes 1 heaping cup.
*A note about scorching: It’s awful. It makes the rest of your banana butter taste bad, and it is hard as hell to clean. Just take my word for it and stir the pot more than would seem sensible.