Friday, November 12, 2010

Connemara Carrot Conserve's - Carrot Jam and Carrot Marmalade

Oranges are not the only fruit - nor are fruit in the way we look at things. In an EU Jam Directive, written in the 80s and updated in 2001, it describes the parameters required for a product to be labelled as jam or marmalade.

There is the phrase "for the purposes of this directive, tomatoes, the edible part of rhubarb stalks, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons and water melons are considered to be fruit".
This was introduced to pacify the Portuguese.

In Portugal, a delicious jam is made from carrots! There is also a version in India, this recipe is sort of a hybrid. The result is delicious, fresh and crisp - it makes a real change from the norm.

The recipe for carrot marmalade is furtehr down the page

There is also a precedent from Victorian times, from Mrs Beeton's famous book on Household Management.
One assumes that in Victorian times real apricot jam would have been expensive, so this would have been a substitute for families of a more modest income.
The book written by Mrs Isabella Mary Beeton (née Mayson) (12 March 1836 – 6 February 1865) is regarded as the first modern cookbook, it a format that was a precursor to what we have now.

The book contained 900 recipes, because of this the book is also known as Mrs Beeton's Cookbook.
Most of the recipes were illustrated with coloured engravings, and it was the first book to show recipes in a format that is still used today.
I was a guide to running a Victorian household, with advice not only on cooking but also fashion, animal husbandry, poisons(!!!!), the management of servants, science, religion, and industrialism.
 No doubt, a few copies of this book would have been sold in Ireland, particularly with a growing middle class in places like Belfast, Dublin and Cork.

The recipe I give here is based on Mrs Beeton's Carrot jam to imitate Apricot Preserve - but altered to add flavour and help setting. As a fan of Indian and SE Asian cuisine, I had to add my own twist to it.

The carrots I used for this were Jaune Obtuse de Doubs, I sourced the seeds for this heritage French variety from
They are a yellow carrot, and so were perfect for this recipe. They are very sweet naturally and grew well in the garden this year, great to add to salads as well.
This recipe is an ideal way to use up smaller or mis-shapen carrots.
The weights here will fill about three and a half standard jam jars.


900 gm Carrots, sliced
100 gm Cooking apple, grated
900 gm Sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of two lemons
5 Tsp ground Almond
1 Tsp Tumeric (for added colour)
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Seeds of 5 Cardamom pods, crushed
You can of course add the flavours you like as well, things like star anise, ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg are recommended.

Put sliced carrots into a pot with boiling water, around 300 ml to ensure they don't burn.
With a grater, remove the zest from one lemon and squeeze out the juice.
Squeeze the second lemon.
Peel and grate the apple.
Mix the ground almond, grated apple, lemon zest, cardamon pods and lemon juice.
When the carrots are softened a bit after about 10 minutes add the apple/almond/lemon mix and tumeric to the syrup and stir through.
Keep stirring until the apple has broken down.

At this point there should be enough liquid to cover the bottom third of the ingredients.
Add the sugar and dissolve. Keep stirring until carrots are soft.

After about 10 minutes its time to blend the mix. This is where we have a real advantage over the Victorians as the carrots can be blended down to almost a puree, giving a real apricot jam imitation.

This is a little different from normal jam making. This is because the carrots float.
Strain off the ingredients, retaining the liquid syrup.
Return the syrup to the cooking pot and keep on low temperature.

Add the solids to the blender and give it about 3 minutes until finely blended.
At this point I added the 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Return the blended solids to the pot and reduce over a low heat, remember to stir frequently to stop anything burning.

Do the cold plate test as normal for jams and prepare to jar up in hot sterilised jars as per the preserves made easy posting. Fill the jars to just below the threads and waterbath to seal.

The biggest difference between my recipe and Mrs. Beeton's is that she advises, to extend the shelf life, that you allow the carrot jam to cool and add 3 Tsp of Brandy (I suppose any strong liquer would do) - but you need to do this at under 70 deg C to retain the alcohol. But other than flavour, the water bath treatment should take care of this anyway. The other divergence is the apple, that I added for the pectin content.

Fairly straight forward this, pretty much as above with a few minor changes. The big difference is grating the carrot to give a marmalade like texture and the use of Demerera sugar to make it a bit darker.

900 gm red carrot (I used Lisse de Mieux, also from realseeds)
100 gm tart apple
Zest and Juice of two Oranges
Zest and juice of one Lemon (try a couple of lime if you like)
200 ml water
500 gm white sugar
400 gm Demerera Sugar.

Grate the carrots and apple. The grating is done for texture and appearance
Zest and juice oranges and lemon
Blend all above ingredients, put into a large heavy bottomed pot and soften the carrot.
When the carrot is softened, take about 1/3rd of the grated carrot and put through food blender/processor.
Return processed carrot to pot and add all sugar.
Cook until reduced to setpoint and jar as per previous posting on preserves.
Yields 3.5 regular jam jars, tastes delicious.

Thanks for reading and please do take the time to leave a comment.

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1 comment:

  1. Jams are always the favorite of everyone and therefore they are like by everyone even they are kid or elder.


Thanks for commenting - its cool that you took the time