I’ll start by noting that my decision to make this jam was mostly a happy accident– that being said, I’m so glad I did, because the results were *amazing*.
Anyway, I had some egg whites left over from my Dulce de Leche Flan, which made me start thinking about baking macarons to use them up (because why waste them on something easy?). And then I wondered what flavor of macaron I might want to make, and since Easter is coming up I thought about carrots, and carrot cake. But how to infuse carrot cake flavor into a macaron? Well, that’s where the carrot cake jam came in.
You’ll see the finished macarons later, but this jam is good for so many other things– it’s great with cream cheese on toast, delicious as a filling for cookies or tartlets, but my favorite use has to be for making the very best carrot cake ice cream *ever* (don’t worry, recipe to come).
The jam itself is sweet, spicy, and has a nice array of textures due to the variety of ingredients. I particularly like the pecans– without them the jam is awfully sweet, and they add a background savoriness that evokes the “cake” feeling of the original inspiration. You might also consider adding some shredded coconut, if you like it in your carrot cake generally. Either way, it’s sure to be sticky, gooey, and delicious!
Laura Hargrove’s Carrot Cake Jam
(makes about 8 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 1/2 cups chopped apples
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, with juice
- 1/4 cup dried currants (you can use raisins, but chop them so they’re not too big)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 5 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 package of Certino liquid pectin
- At the outset, I’ll note that I used a food processor to do most of the work for the carrots and apples. I bought pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store and gave them a few pulses in the processor to break them down a bit– pre-shredded carrots are too coarse for cake, but perfect for jam. As for the apples, I peeled them, chopped them roughly, and then pulsed them in the processor to finely chop them finer.
- Combine carrots, apples and entire can of pineapple with juice, currants, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom (basically everything except the sugar, nuts, and pectin) in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover, and keep at a simmer, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes until apples are tender.
- Add all of the sugar, turn up the heat, and bring to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.
- Add pecans and stir.
- Add package of liquid pectin and return to full boil while stirring constantly, until the pectin dissolves completely.
- Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars leaving one-quarter inch of head space. You can process your jars in a water bath, or just refrigerate them if you’re going to use the jam within a few weeks.