This recipe is brought to you by the fifty-pound bag of carrots that I bought two days ago on a whim and have been working through ever since, with the help of two somewhat-reluctant teenagers. Yesterday I made pickled carrot sticks, I filled my pressure canner with 18 jars of carrots in water, and I shredded and froze about twenty cups in one-cup and two-cup portions, for use in recipes like meatloaf and carrot cake at a later date. That took care of about thirty pounds of carrots.
Fifty pounds is a LOT of carrots, it turns out.
So last night I went looking for carrot jam recipes. I found out that carrot jam has been a Middle Eastern recipe for centuries, going back at least eight hundred years in Iran. However, the Middle Eastern recipe does not use pectin – it just cooks the carrots down to a spreadable consistency. This would work if I had, say, five pounds of carrots to work with. I have twenty pounds. I needed to be faster.
I decided to try adding pineapple and Pomona’s Pectin. The result is delicious, but I’m going to adjust it later today when I acquire more pineapple. The first attempt went like this:
- 3 cups carrots, shredded, approx. 4 grocery-store large carrots
- 1 can crushed pineapple with juice
- 1 cup apple juice
- 4 tsp calcium water
- 4 1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin
- 2 cups sugar
- Prepare your jars, rims and seals. Set your canner boiling.
- Run your carrots through your food processor to shred them. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the carrots into chunks and cook them in a little bit of water until they are soft, then mash or stick-blend them. Measure out 3 cups and freeze the rest for carrot cake or meatloaf.
- If your can of pineapple was bought with pineapple upside-down cake in mind and is in some format other than crushed, run it through the food processor, too.
- Add the first four ingredients to a large pot with a heavy bottom. Cook for 5 minutes if the carrots have already been cooked. If they haven’t already been cooked, cook for 15 minutes at a simmer.
- Meanwhile, mix the sugar and pectin well in a separate bowl.
- When the carrot/pineapple/juice mixture has cooked, add the sugar mixture, stirring vigorously. Bring the heat up to a full rolling boil and then immediately take it off the heat.
- Fill your jars, affix seals and rims, and process in your canner for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool undisturbed for several hours.
This jam is really good. I’m almost perfectly happy with it. Later today I’ll be trying it with pineapple juice in place of the apple juice, to see if I can kick it up a notch. It’s not like I’m going to run out of carrots anytime soon!