If you haven't already guessed by now, I have developed a penchant for musa, aka banana. From the green and starchy plantain to the familiar yellow sweet banana and all the varieties in between, you can't deny that this fruit is just great!
Sometimes a person likes a greener banana, or when slightly spotted and concentrated with sugars. But what do you do with bananas that are going south and your freezer is already full of banana bread? Here... banana jam, aka dulce de guineo.
While visiting Ecuador, I encountered a dark brown to almost molasses black looking stuff being served for continental breakfast to our customers. I asked my wife what they were serving, and she told me it was a local jam made from bananas, a great substitute if your out of guava or piña jam. Ecuador is fruit central!
One day we noticed an abundance of bananas that weren't the most prime specimens. We decided to try banana jam. The recipe was quite easy, just about 30 banana's, cinnamon sticks, cloves, water and panela. The hard part is someone has to stir this stuff till thick and sticky, a few hours. Between our cooks we had a fine product that makes for a different twist then the usual berry marmalade's were so used to.
Dulce de guineo
30 Ripe bananas
Water to cover
1/2 a wheel of panela, approximately a half pound, (find in your local latin market)
4 sticks of cinnamon
( * Although the spices were added directly, I suggest a sachet so you can remove it later, nothing like chewing on a stick of cinnamon or catching a fiery clove in your gums!)
In a large pot put all the ingredients together and just cover with water, bring to boil and skim. Over a medium to low flame cook down till thick and the water evaporates. Stir, every 5 minutes or so, so the jam won't stick or scorch the pan. Keep stirring till done, when it resembles a thick tar like paste.