I was in the mood to do some canning this week and I've read about this recipe several times. You have to admit the title sounds pretty intriguing already - Monkey Butter. What is that anyway???
It's a totally yummy tropical tasting jam...made with pineapple, bananas and coconut (and sugar) it is not very 100-mile-diet. I know I know!!! I adore all three ingredients - oh what to do!!
One of my Methods-For-Success is to make a recipe the way it was written first and THEN make adjustments. So in went ALL the sugar called for - it was really hard to do!
5 ripe bananas (but no brown spots on the inside)
1 - 20oz can of pineapple with the juice
1/4 cup of shredded coconut
3 cups of sugar
3 Tbsp. of lemon juice
OK - I almost followed the recipe exactly! First thing I did was double the recipe. The canned pineapple didn't have ounces on it so after some time with google I decided three small cans equally approx. 42 ounces.
Slice the bananas into a large pot, add the rest of the ingredients and set the stove to a medium heat to heat it up and then turned it down to low - don't leave the stove - that much sugar will burn if left unattended for too long. I wanted a jam that spread without huge chunks so I used an hand-held immersion blender to blend it down.
The Monkey Butter simmered for about an hour on very low as I washed my jars and set them in the canner to sterilize them. We have hard water so I added a little vinegar to the canner to prevent cloudy-looking jars. Simmer the flat lids in another small pan to soften the seals and prepare your counter so you have enough space to work.
When the Monkey Butter has reduced to a nice thick jam it's ready to can. Remove the jars with canning tongs (but don't empty the water out of the pot) and fill them using a funnel to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Top with seal and a ring and water bath can for 15 minutes. That means place the filled jars in a large pot/water bath canner with a lid with enough water to cover the jars by an inch or more and bring to a rolling boil. Start timing the 15 minutes when the boiling starts.
Remove jars and place on a cookie rack covered with a tea towel and cover the jars with another tea towel and do not disturb until completely cool - which is usually the next day. Check to make sure each jar sealed by pressing on the tops - there should be no wiggle. If there is a wiggle just put it in the fridge and eat it right away.
Remove the rings from the jars and use warm running water and a clean dishcloth to wash each jar thoroughly so there is no jam on the outside to mould after a few months or years on the shelf. By washing the jars this way you'll know-that-you-know that the lid is on tight and sealed. Don't forget to label the jars - I use a permanent marker on the lid because I hate scraping off stickers later. Without a label these will look like apple sauce in a few weeks! I was able to make 10 - 1/2 pint jars from this recipe
So for what I could adjust... I had lots of ideas.
First off honey instead of sugar - maybe 1 cup honey for 3 cups sugar - it would probably require a longer simmer. Or part honey and part sugar.
I could make pineapple out of zucchini - yes really you can. It's basically chopped zucchini, lemon juice, pineapple juice and sugar - a weird but wonderfully inventive idea from back in the days when pineapple was unheard of for most people due to the expense and the lack of transportation made it unavailable anyway.
There is no substitute for bananas in my world. I love banana's. We buy them three bunches at a time and always run out. The coconut - hmmmm - dried shredded apples maybe??
You can spread it on toast - I think it would be great with peanut butter! It would be delicious on ice cream or yogurt.
Regardless of the 1000 mile recipe or maybe because of it - it tastes like a million dollars!