I have been in a little funk lately – and I think I finally figured out what it is. I miss making jam – it has been at least a month since I have made a batch, and it is leaving a little bit of a void in my life. I thought after making about 80 jars between June and December that I would need a couple of months just to get back into it – but I am ready. I am ready to get back on that horse. Now, there is just a couple of small problems…fresh fruit, and time.
Of all the jams I made this summer and fall, I hardly ventured into what I would call the “risky” jams. Those are the jams that you don’t really use to make a peanut butter and jam sandwich. I think my Fig Jam was the only one that came close – and after I saw her lick the spoon clean from the sample I gave her, I was pretty sure it would go perfect with peanut butter. I remember when I had an open jar of the Mulled Cider Jelly in the refrigerator, and decided to use that on her sandwich. I was sure I would hear about it that night – since that was my first attempt to broaden her from the berry or stone fruit jams. That night as I started to make her a sandwich for the next day, she called from upstairs asking if I could use that really yummy jam again…success!
Last month when I attended the holiday gift workshop at The Pantry, I was overjoyed when I saw we were going to be making jam. Not that I needed any more to give out – but I was so excited to try this jam, that would definitely go into the “risky” category. Not only was this jam beautiful (look at the color!), it was delicious – especially with goat cheese. This is the perfect appetizer jam. So – aren’t you curious to see how this would go with peanut butter? Well, you might have to make it to find out – and the good news is that you can get fresh carrots in the market pretty much all year. I am holding out putting on my daughter’s sandwich – but if I run out of her other favorites…that might be next.
- 1 pound 2 ounces fresh young carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange, about ½ cup
- 1 ½ teaspoons roughly ground cardamom seed
- 2 ¼ pounds sugar
- 4 ½ ounces liquid pectin
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots, reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until the carrots are tender but not mushy or falling apart. Drain the carrots, run them under cold water to stop them from overcooking and set them aside in a colander to drain for a few minutes.
Place the carrots in a food processor and pulse until the carrots are finely chopped. Be sure not to take them down to a puree.
Place the carrots, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, and cardamom in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the sugar and cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil hard for 5 minutes, skimming and discarding any foam that rises to the surface.
Add the pectin and return to the boil. Cook for another 1-3 minutes, testing for a set often. When the jam has reached the desired consistency, remove the pot from the heat and ladle the jam into clean, sterilized jars. Process as desired or cool and then store in the refrigerator.
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