{Recipe} Carrot Cake Jam

Carrot Cake Jam

Have you guys heard about food swaps? Apparently they’re the cool new thing. People all over the country are whipping up delicious things in their kitchens (or growing them in their backyards) and then swapping for other tasty goods with like-minded individuals. So when our library director put a food swap on our calendar, I was really excited to participate! The only thing: I wanted to bring something a little bit different.

A few years ago I nabbed a Better Homes & Garden canning magazine. It had a recipe for carrot cake jam that I fully intended to make and enter in the Dutchess County Fair. I don’t know what happened, but I never got around to it. Until yesterday.

Now, before I share this recipe, be warned: there is a ton of sugar in it. But it’s jam. And that’s the way it goes. I did use no-sugar pectin so in theory I could have reduced how much I used, but I didn’t.

OK. So, the first thing you need to do is start your water bath and sterilize your canning jars, new lids, and bands.

Next, combine 1 peeled diced pear (I used my food processor to make the pieces really tiny and save time), 2 cups of shredded carrots, a 16 oz. can of crushed pineapple in 100% juice (NOT heavy syrup), lemon juice (when canning, use bottled because it has a consistent pH), cinnamon, and nutmeg in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Carrot Cake Jam

Then, take the pot off the heat and sprinkle your pectin over the mixture. Stir it in.

Carrot Cake Jam

Now add your sugar. Just look the other way and dump in 4 cups of white granulated sugar and 2 cups of brown sugar. (Remember, you’re not eating massive amounts of this! Although then again… you might want to.) Stir it all up again.

Carrot Cake Jam

And like magic… you have jam!

Carrot Cake Jam

Bring it back up to a rolling boil and stir constantly for one minute while it’s boiling. Next, take it off the heat and add 1 Tsp. vanilla and (optional) 1/4 c. flaked coconut or raising. Because I am a wild woman, I added both.

Then ladle the jam into your sterilized jars, add the lid, snug on the band, and process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

IMPORTANT: Remember that processing time starts when the water returns to a big, angry boil. It does not start when you just put the jars into the pot.

I like to slather some cream cheese on (preferably homemade) bread and top it with the jam. I think it would also benefit from a sprinkling of walnuts.

This jam has been taste-tested and approved by my two boys, ages 7 and 10, so you know it’s good!

 

Carrot Cake Jam
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
  2. 1 medium pear, finely chopped
  3. 1 15-oz. can of crushed pineapple packed in 100% juice
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  7. 1 1 .75-oz package of pectin
  8. 4 c. granulated sugar
  9. 2 c. packed brown sugar
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1/4 c. flaked coconut or raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine carrots, pears, pineapple, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg is a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, giving it a stir often.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle the mixture with pectin. Stir until it dissolves.
  3. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Return to a rolling boil. Boil the mixture for 1 minute while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Add vanilla and coconut/raisins.
  4. Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims and adjust the lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the pot and allow to cool.
Notes
  1. Don’t forget to check the seals later on — you don’t want to store anything that hasn’t been properly processed!
Adapted from Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Canning magazine, Summer 2011
Adapted from Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Canning magazine, Summer 2011
Pure Sugar http://www.puresugar.net/

 

 

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{Recipe} Blueberry Lime Jam

blueberry lime jam

Well, I haven’t just been crafting. I’ve been busy in the kitchen too. When blueberries were on sale last week at Shop Rite, I jumped on the sale in order to make my favorite spread (coincidentally the very first thing I ever made when I learned to can): blueberry-lime jam. Everyone is always all about the strawberries, it seems, but I will bide my time and wait for summer blueberries and can my butt of even if it’s 92 degrees outside (which it happened to be).

As with any and all things canning, in the interest of food safety it’s important to follow trusted recipes. Canning is more of a science, really. And if you don’t get things just right you can end up with a nasty case of botulism. But don’t let that scare you off, because really — if you can follow some directions and boil water, then you can totally do this. And it will be better than anything you buy in a store!

This recipe is based on one from the Ball Blue Book. I used no-sugar pectin so I could reduce the amount of sugar I used in the recipe (otherwise I find the sweetness cloying). Also, I always use bottled lime juice because the acidity is consistent. There is lots of back and forth on whether to use fresh or bottled, but for something like this, I find that using the store-bought juice is easier and I know it’s high enough in acid.

Blueberry-Lime Jam

blueberry-lime jam

4 1/2 cups blueberries
1 package dry no-sugar-needed pectin
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/3 cup bottled lime juice

Crush the blueberries one layer at a time. (Do not wimp out and use a food processor — use a fork or a potato masher. It’s therapeutic and you want those little bits of blueberry in there. Save the processing for blueberry butter.)Next, combine the crushed blueberries and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring it to a boil, being sure to stir frequently. Then add your sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved. Stir in the lime zest and lime juice and return the jam to a rolling boil. Boil hard (no little bubbles — wait for the serious bubbles) for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove the pot from the heat and skim off any foam if you have it. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. (You might have to boil longer if you live in a high altitude. Consult a canning guide (such as Ball Canning) for correct times.

If you don’t have canning equipment, you can also store this in your fridge, though I’d try to use it up within a few weeks if you skip the processing step.

Yield: about 5 half-pints.

Note: Take it from me and don’t boil it longer than the 1 minute called for in the recipe because it will affect the consistency of your jam. It will taste fine, but it will be a little more goopy. If you’re just making it for your own use, that’s no big deal, but if you are giving it is gifts, you probably want it more aesthetically pleasing.

There’s still lots of time for blueberries (at least here in the Northeast), so if you get your hands on some at a good price, try out this recipe!

Linking up with: Cooking Thursday with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.