This recipe is adapted from Putting Food By. I’ve altered the flavorings to make the jam less spicy. Carrot jam is wonderful with cheeses and great on a mozzarella sandwich. I macerate the carrots overnight in the fridge, which helps shorten the cooking time, though you don’t have to.
Save the greens for Carrot Top Pesto.
Makes 2 half-pints
1 pound carrots, coarsely grated (about 2½ cups)
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
½ cup water
Pinch of grated nutmeg
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan, stir together the carrots, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Tie up the cinnamon and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the carrots. (You can put the spices in loose, but you will need to fish them out before canning, so if you do, count those cloves!) Cover and let rest in the fridge to macerate overnight.
The next day, add the water and nutmeg to the carrot mixture. Bring the jam to a boil over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the syrup has mostly evaporated and is thickened and orange and the carrots are glossy, 20 to 30 minutes. If you boil the carrots too long, they will become gluey. It’s not the end of the world. Go ahead and process them, but loosen them up a bit with some warm water before serving.
Have ready 2 clean half-pint jars and bands, and new lids that have been simmered in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Remove the spices, then pour the carrot mixture into the jars leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, place on the lids, and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
Process (which in canning terminology simply means heating the jars) the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes at sea level. Process the jars for an additional 1 minute for every 1,000 feet altitude. Remove from the water, let the jars rest for 24 hours, and then check the seals. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.