Sunday, 26 July 2015

Carrot Jam

When learning how to cook, you learn that there are some combinations that work, and some that just don’t. And then there are the combinations that shouldn’t work – that really shouldn’t – but do.

Carrot jam is one such recipe, and since it has come in to my life I have found myself in a near-constant state of doubt – does it really taste so good, or am I deluding myself?

It wasn’t enough that I liked it, or that my wife said it was “weird, but good”, or even that my mother agreed to take a jar home with her. There was still doubt in my heart.

But finally, I have had confirmation of its goodness in the form of a blind taste test. Unbeknownst to me, my mother served part of her stash to some hapless tradespeople working on her house, on top of freshly baked scones. When she took the dinner tray back off them, the older of the bunch had asked just what type of jam it was, and if he could have the recipe.

So set aside your concerns, push down your misgivings, and join me in making carrot jam. Even the tradies are doing it.

CARROT JAM. - Boil a few carrots until quite tender, rub them through a colander, after- wards through a sieve. To every pound of pulp add one pound of loaf sugar, boil it to a jam, and when nearly cold put in the juice and the rind, finely grated, of two lemons to every pound of the pulp.

RECIPES. (1866, January 13). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 3.


Carrot Jam, from above.

Ingredients

450g carrots

450g sugar

The juice and rind of two lemons

 

Cooking Time

1 ½ hours, plus cooling time

Yield

2 medium jars, to ease you in to the idea. The recipe scales up well once you’re more comfortable.

Method

Chop the carrots into evenly-sized pieces.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to the boil, and add the carrots.

Boil the carrots until they are quite soft – you should be able to easily squish one against the side of the pan.

Drain away the cooking water.

Blend the carrots until they are pureed.

In your saucepan, combine the carrots and sugar.

Bring to the boil, while stirring to combine the ingredients. Continue heating until the jam reaches 105C.

Remove from the heat, and allow the jam to begin cooling. When it is nearly cold, add the juice and finely grated rind of the lemons.

Put your jam into your two sterilised jars (methods of sterilising summarised here). Remember to always put cold jam in cold jars and hot jam in hot jars, to prevent the glass splitting.

Revel in the fact that you have made jam from the most unlikely of sources, and that the two jars you’re staring at cost you less than $1 to make.

Now go forth, and convert more people to the wonders of carrot jam.