Monday, June 18, 2012

Carrot Cake Jam

Our garden has done really well at producing carrots this year.  In an effort to use them up, I sat down and thumbed through my favorite canning book, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving*.  One carrot recipe immediately caught my eye, carrot cake jam.  We have been running low on jam and high on carrots, so this seemed like a perfect fit.

makes about 4 pints
1½ c peeled and finely grated carrots
1½ c peeled and finely chopped pears (I used granny smith apples instead)
1¾ c canned crushed pineapple, with juice
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 package powdered pectin
6½ c granulated sugar

1. Grate the carrots on paper towels or flour sack towels and squeeze the extra water out of them
2. Peel and core the pears or apples and finely chop
3. Mix carrots, apples, pineapple and lemon juice in a large pot.  Mix spices with a small amount of sugar to avoid clumping and add those to the pot. 

4.  Stir everything together and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and gently boil for 20 minutes.  While the mixture is cooking, prepare jars, lids and rings along with boiling water bath canner (complete instructions available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation)
5. After the mixture cooks, remove from heat and stir in the pectin.  Return to heat and bring back to a boil.  Add sugar all at once and stir constantly until mixture returns to a steady boil.  Boil for 1 minute. 
6. Remove from heat.  Fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (again, full directions available from the National Center for Home Food Preservation if you are new to canning)
This is definitely a unique taste for jam.  The pineapple is a little stronger than I anticipated, but I'm not sure about cutting back on it.  It's possible the acidity of the pineapple is needed to safely preserve this recipe.  We did like it though and it's always nice to find new things we can make!

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