my goodness, whoever heard of such a thing as carrot cake jam? not me. i think it’s it’s just ridiculous. and delicious. i really thought i was not going to like it but i do. i’m imagining a whole mess of this on top of another whole mess of cream cheese on top of…well, you get the idea. i needed to preserve something with carrots as per the can jam assignment for this month. i really thought about canning my mexican hot carrots and eventually i will. but i managed to intimidate myself out of it as the last time i made pickles and water bath canned them, they went as limp and colorless as an old rag doll.
i know what you’re asking yourself : does it really taste like carrot cake? the answer is yes. and no. i might’ve made a few changes if i was on top of it before i even put it all together. i would have left out the cloves. unnecessary and i don’t believe carrot cake generally includes cloves. the addition doesn’t seem out of place but it was confusing on the palate in this application. i also would have added some some coconut. yes, that would’ve made it perfect. as it stands, it almost reminds me more of morning glory muffins than carrot cake.
not that i’m complaining.
carrot cake jam (makes about 5-6 half pint jars)
adapted from ball complete book of home preserving
1 1/2 c carrots, grated or matchstick-cut
1 1/2 c pears, peeled, cored , cut into tiny dice
1 3/4 cup finely chopped pineapple with any collected juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 c granulated sugar*
put all ingredients into a heavy bottomed pan, bring to a boil and allow to simmer rapidly until mixture resembles molten sugared lava and mixture reaches about 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. took me about 20-30 minutes. place a small amount on a plate that has been in the freezer for a bit, put back in freezer for 1 minute. it should be firm and wrinkle some when you touch it.
ladle mixture into sterilized jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes. allow to cool completely on counter, checking to be sure all jars have sealed properly.
* original recipe called for 6 1/2 cups of sugar (4 seemed sweet enough to my taste) and pectin, which i opted not to use.