How about jam?!?
well maybe not this jam...After a lot of online searching, a visit to the World Carrot Museum, and some time in the preserving section of the cookbook aisles at Powells, I came up with two possibilities, both from the current edition of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
My first attempt was a carrot marmalade. In the book it is listed as "Morning Cheer Marmalade" (p.101). I followed the recipe fairly closely, only adding a bit of nutmeg and saffron to the spices, and rather than adding Scotch whiskey as a final flavoring, I added two teaspoons of orange flower water. My idea was to push the flavoring more in the direction of India and the Near East, since last month gave my larder quite a few jars of more "traditional" marmalade. I also cut the recipe in half, and where there were quantities that were difficult to halve, I "rounded up" in favor of the more acidic ingredients. (half of five oranges - three; half the tart apple - just use the whole apple, okay)
Celestial Carrot Marmalade
1/4 t whole allspicePut the spices in a muslin bag. I've some that were originally intended for brewing tea, but they are very useful in the preserving kettle, I also put all the seeds from the oranges in one (orange seeds are full of pectin). Then peeled the oranges, trying for mostly the orange part, and slivered the orange peel into tiny shreds. Cut away the white part of the oranges, then cut the segments free from their membrane. I did this over a flexible cutting board and was able to easily pour the excess juice into the pan with the other ingredients (carrots, apple, water, and spices). At this point it was really late at night, so I put it all in the fridge till the next day...
3" piece stick cinnamon, broken to pieces
a few small chunks of nutmeg, about 1/8 t
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated
2 c finely grated carrots
3/4 c water
1 good pinch of saffron
2 c sugar
1/4 c bottled lemon juice
2 t orange flower water
Bring it all to a boil, and cook gently for about 15 minutes, then add in the lemon juice, and the sugar (and the saffron). Start to boil it hard at this point, and I also took out the spices and the bag of seeds, since it would be inconvenient to have them catching on the stirring spoon. The mixture is smelling wonderful now. Boiled hard for over thirty minutes before there was any sign of it becoming anything other than tasty shreds in syrup. (usual test on frozen saucer). Once it seemed ready, turned off the burner, stirred in the orange flower water, and ladled into the prepared jars. Processed for 10 minutes as per the recipe - makes three 8 oz jars + a few spoonfuls (Note: flavor is superb and not noticeably "carroty", texture is very sticky, more like candied fruit than what I think of as marmalade...)"Carrot Cake Jam" (p. 39). The mere mention of this jam had a very positive response from a great variety of my friends and acquaintances, so... Once again a half recipe, and the only changes I made were to not include cloves (I think cloves are nasty)and to use Pomonas Universal Pectin which allowed me to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe from 3 1/4 c to 2 c.
Carrot Cake Conserve*
3/4 c finely grated carrotsMix powdered pectin completely in with the sugar. Put everything (fruits and juices, spices, and calcium water) except pectin/sugar and pecans in a good sized pan and bring to a boil. cook for five minutes, or until pear bits are softened. Stir in pectin/sugar and boil, stirring constantly till clear and thickened about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in pecans and ladle int the prepared jars. Processed for 10 minutes - makes four 8 oz jars. (Note: if I make this one again I'll try using less of the added pectin, as this quantity makes a very firm set. This was my first attempt using added pectin, and there is a bit of a learning curve. I'm thinking that this recipe might also be good with a lot less added sugar, perhaps mixed with applesauce instead...)
3/4 c chopped cored peeled pears
1 c canned pineapple, including juice
1 1/2 T canned lemon juice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
added pectin, 2 1/2 t + 1 t calcium water
2 c sugar
1/3 c chopped pecans
I brought a jar of this to a potluck last week, to spread on the top of a plain vanilla home-baked sponge cake, served with some unsweetened whipped cream alongside. Rave reviews and a demand that I "make more jam"...
* as far as I can tell, a conserve is a more "texture-y" kind of preserve, with dried fruit, or nuts, added.