Having a fresh, citrusy flavor, the Spiced Carrot & Orange Jam is definitely fun and surprisingly palatable.
As with many of my recipes, this too is easy and quick to make, saving old soggy or young carrots and caring about the #nofoodwaste movement.
The carrot jam might seem unexpected, but it's quite popular in Middle Eastern cuisines - with addition of flavors like cardamom and rose water, we just made an easily recognizable and delicious Persian jam.
Southern Portugal has a sweet spot for this preserve too as well as the UK back in the Victorian Era. In the 1900's, Mrs. Beeton wrote 3 different carrot jam variations in her well-known cookbook and household management - with added brandy, slivered almonds, lemon or a mix of beetroot and carrot. Quite interesting!
More modern recipes would include spices like cinnamon and bay leaves.
Now you can choose whatever spice is calling to you!
Following my Insta stories feedback, many of you were super interested in this jam so I retested the recipe and wrote down the exact ingredients.
My version of the carrot jam includes a mix: I chose to add orange zest to enhance the carrot flavor, a bit of lemon juice for tanginess and added cinnamon, cloves and cardamom - a mix of spices that I find complex but not overwhelming.
Keep in mind that:
- carrots are high in natural sugars so there is no need for a huge amount of sugar in the jam
- they also contain a high percentage of pectin, which means the jam will naturally set super well.
- depending on how thick or liquid you like the jam to be, you can always twist the water ratio or increase the boiling time. In general, I like the runny types, but to make it suitable for cakes I boiled it a bit longer.
My favorite way to enjoy it? On a freshly toasted sourdough slice with a thick layer of butter (vegan or non-vegan), a thick layer of the Spiced Carrot & Orange Jam and sprinkled with fresh thyme. A dollop of yogurt on top, and you have a divine brunch toast.
I also use it on pancakes, in vinaigrettes (worked wonderfully!) and I plan to bake a carrot cake especially for this.
Spiced Carrot & Orange Jam
Vegan, Nut-free, Plant-based
Makes 350 g
Total time: 2-3 hours
250 g carrots, peeled, washed and shredded
170 g whole cane sugar
400 ml of filtered water
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp orange zest
4 pods of cardamom
1 stick of cinnamon
Using a large bowl, add shredded carrot, sugar and lemon juice. Mix and leave for 1-2 h to soften.
Using a large pan, bring the filtered water to a boil and add the carrot mixture.
Add the rest of the spices (orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) and boil on medium heat for about 50-60 minutes or until translucent. The remaining water might seem liquid but once cooled, it will thicken.
After the jam is cooked, place it in 2 small, cleaned and sterilized jars.
Add the lid on right away and let it cool at room temperature.
Keep in the pantry or fridge for up to 6-10 months. Enjoy!