Wednesday, March 17, 2010

February Can Jam: Carrot Cake Jam

Yes… I am still behind on my monthly canning goal for the Can Jam…I guess it is a good thing that I missed the sign up for this challenge.

The challenge for February was Carrots… which I must admit baffled me. But, look at what everyone canned… there are so many great options for carrot canning… I want to make more! I mean who can resist a Thai Carrot pickle or Carrot and Onion Sandwich Slaw… Wow.

When I put this recipe together I thought it was a strange combination with a large quantity of spice in it and once I cooked it and tasted it I thought (and told Mac) this is either going to be really good or really weird. I haven’t tried it yet… thought I would let sit for week. So I will give you an update once I crack that can open.

Stay tuned… I am going to try and get caught up with the Can Jam next week and do March’s challenge… in March! The Challenge for March is alliums, which might be pretty easy seeing it is one of the largest plant genera in the world.  I might just be making that Carrot and Onion Sandwich Slaw after all!

Carrot Cake Jam
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes 6 half pints

1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped cored peeled pears
1 3/4 cups crushed, canned pineapple, including juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 1/2 cups sugar (I only used 3 cups… seemed sweet enough for me… you all know how I hate overly sweet jams… which is why my jams are always “looser” than others. *
½ cup of chopped, toasted walnuts

Combine carrots, pears, pineapple and juice, lemon juice, and spices in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Lower temperature to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

All ingredients, except for the nuts into a heavy sauce pan and simmer until mixture reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once thermometer has reached desired temperature add nuts and a splash of lemon juice and stir for another minute.
Ladle hot jam into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

*If not using pectin you will need to use a candy thermometer to cook your sugar mixture to a temperature in order to "firm" it up.

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