Friday, September 17, 2010

Carrot Cake Jam

I am so glad you are back with me and if this is your fist time here, at my hearth, welcome!  Today was a beautiful day...fall is right around the corner, I can feel it in the air.  We are finally starting to drop below 70 at night.  Harvest season is here...I noticed bags of gourds and pumpkins in the store today.  It won't be long till I try my hand at apple butter and pumpkin butter.  I have read some controversy over canning pumpkin butter due to bacteria that can not be killed...I am not so sure about this, I grew up on the stuff and never heard of anyone getting sick.  I came across a recipe for it that uses canned pumpkin so I am hoping it will be "safer" (if there is any reason to worry to begin with) than using fresh.  Does anyone have any thoughts and/or experiences they would like to share on the subject?  I would love to hear from you!  I also want to try some different apple sauces too.  My book of recipes grows with each passing day and as I make them I will share them with you, successes, failures, the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly.

Back on August 26, I made 2 more batches...a strawberry margarita jam and a carrot cake jam.  Today I am sharing the carrot cake one with you.  Now, as far as carrots are concerned, they are associated with the energy of lust and fertility, pears are lust and love and pineapple is associated with luck and money.  You can infuse your jam with the energy of physical love and lust (carrots are quite phallic, I suppose) or you could try to manifest through lust, desire and luck a financial gain, just depending on your needs or the needs of those you are sharing your bounty with.  Since both luck and love are involved with this one I am calling it Lucky in Love Carrot Cake Jam.  It did not turn out like I had expected, I will be adjusting the recipe the next time and will explain more below.  Here is the recipe as I made it...

Lucky in Love Carrot Cake Jam

1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped, cored and peeled pears
1 14oz can crushed pineapple with juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1.75oz package fruit pectin
6 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids.  Combine carrots, pears, pineapple with juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in an 8qt. saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, over high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Whisk in the pectin until dissolved and bring back to a hard rolling boil, that can not be stirred down, over high heat.  Add the sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring all the while.

Remove pan from heat and quickly skim off any foam from the top.  Ladle the jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and add the lids and rings, turning the rings until just finger-tight.  Place the jars in the preheated canner and bring canner to a full rolling boil.  Process jars for 10 minutes (adjusting according to your altitude, if necessary) then remove canner from heat.  Let canner sit for 5 minutes, then, carefully remove hot jars from water with a jar lifter and place them on a towel on the counter and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.  Check the seals before storing and use within 12 months.

Makes about 6 - 7 half pint jars.

Now, this jam had a GORGEOUS amber color and looked very pretty in the jars.  I always seem to end up with more than enough to fill the jars so I always put the remaining jam into a big jar to go right into my fridge.  I waited till be next day to try this and I was not happy with the was WAY to sweet and WAY to spicy, for me.  The texture seemed more like a topping or a sauce, however after 2 weeks in the fridge it did become more like a jam in consistency.  I have read that it takes some jams up to 2 weeks to fully set, but I thought that since I had added the pectin it would immediately be the right texture.  I guess not!  Lesson learned...wait 2 weeks before judging consistency.  It is still quite sweet and strong spice wise so next time I plan to cut back on the sugar, cloves and nutmeg and check the difference...I will let you know and will repost the recipe with the changes when I do make it again.  It is a unique jam and like I mentioned, it is beautiful on the shelf.  As I gifted the jars I did mention the sweetness and extreme spiciness...I recommended that the recipients not use it on bread but maybe to try it as a warmed topping over some good vanilla bean ice cream.  Well, I was VERY impressed when a good friend, who happens to be the mom of one of my son's fellow Scouts, said she had found a great way to use it that they really enjoyed...they put a spoon of it into their morning oatmeal.  No need to add any sugar or butter...she's a genius!  Thanks Kim, for a great use for it.  I can't wait to make a hot bowl of oatmeal and try it out.  Anyone else have ideas, thoughts or input?  I would LOVE to hear from you so leave a comment, pretty-please. 

The house will be quiet this weekend, as it is a camping trip for the Boy Scout Extreme Games, so I should have plenty of time to get caught up on my postings.  Till then...Be Blessed and Be Sweet!


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

carrot cake jam, sounds good to me!! I can see how it would get overly spicy, however. If I can find carrots on a good sale I'll have to try this one :)

Chris Stevens said...

OMG...Mama Gigi, this is GREAT!! I love it. Now the question is how you goin' to get those jams to me ;)