09 July 2013

Carrot Cake Jam - Oh My It Is Good!

The name intrigued me. I'd never heard of Carrot Cake Jam. I LOVE carrot cake, so the thought of being able to have those delightfully spicy flavours anytime by simply putting jam on a slice of freshly baked bread or a scone warm from the oven was too tempting - I had to make some and try it.

It is delicious! Sinfully delicious. My favourite way to enjoy Carrot Cake Jam is on a warm scone, spread with cream cheese and topped with a dollop of this yummy jam. Oh my it is good!

It can be used to sandwich two layers of butter cake together, then top it with cream cheese icing sprinkled with chopped walnuts - that's good too.

For an afternoon tea treat mix some Carrot Cake Jam into cream cheese and sandwich between shortbread biscuits, they go down very well with a cup of tea let me tell you.

I'm sharing this recipe with you now, not that I wouldn’t share with you, because carrots and pears are cheap at the moment. And because winter is the best time to make jam as standing over the boiling pot isn't too uncomfortable.

But the main reason I'm sharing now is because this jam makes the perfect gift. If you're taking part in our handmade Christmas challenge and looking for something different to give, this jam is it. It's definitely not your run of the mill raspberry or apricot or plum jam, and you can be sure no one else will be giving it (unless they read my blog too :) ).

Carrot Cake Jam

1½ cups finely grated carrots
1½ cups peeled, diced and cored pears
1-3/4 cups canned crushed pineapple – including the juice (a large can)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 pkt. Jamsetta
4 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar


In a large deep stainless steel sauce pan combine the carrots, pears, pineapple and juice, lemon juice and spices.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat so the fruit is at a gentle boil (not frothing up and boiling over) and cover. Boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the fruit doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and whisk in the Jamsetta until dissolved.  Return to the stove and bring to boil over high heat stirring constantly.  Add the sugars all at once and return to a full rolling boil stirring constantly.  Boil hard stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Add in the nuts, if using them.  Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilised leaving 1cm headspace.  Remove air bubbles and more jam if needed.  Wipe off any spills and add the lids/rings.  For long-term storage, process in a water bath for 10 minutes, otherwise store in the fridge and use within a month.

This recipe makes about 4 500g jars.

You need to use the Jamsetta in this recipe as there simply isn't enough pectin in the pears for the mixture to gel. You'll find it in the baking/cooking aisle of your supermarket, in a blue coloured packet, it costs about $1.75 a packet.

I used these very cute little pears that I bought at the weekend from Petty's orchard (they were windfall, hence the size) to make the jam.  I bought a few kilos, they're a really nice size to nibble on when the hungrys strike too.

This recipe has a few extra steps in it that other jams don't, but it is worth the few extra minutes.

If you are planning on keeping the jam until Christmas then process the jars in a water bath to vacuum seal them and ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat until then. It only takes a few minutes and is easy to do.

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