Among friends and family, this is my most requested jam. I keep cheerful little half-pint jars of Carrot Cake Jam on hand at all times, because it makes such a perfect hostess gift, teacher gift, get well soon offering, thank you acknowledgment… you get the idea. I’m telling you, this jam tastes exactly like carrot cake, without all of the fat (and accompanying calories). Mix a few tablespoons into a cup of low fat yogurt for a quick fruit dip, or spread it on toasted slices of Easter Bread. You’re going to love this!
A note about color: I add brown sugar to Carrot Cake Jam because I like the warm depth of flavor that brown sugar imparts. I don’t mind the resulting, darker jam color. If you’d prefer a bright orange Carrot Cake Jam, along with a lighter flavor, simply substitute the 2 cups of brown sugar for an additional 2 cups of white sugar.
Ingredients (makes 9 half-pint jars)
3 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 large carrots)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled pear (1 large or 2 small pears)
1 15 ounce can crushed pineapple in natural pineapple juice (do not drain)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons powdered pectin
2 cups dark brown sugar
4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Step 1) Combine finely shredded carrots, finely chopped pear, undrained pineapple, lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg in a large pot. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Step 2) Remove from heat. Mix pectin into 1 cup of white sugar, and add to pot. Stir until pectin and sugar dissolve.
Step 3) Bring pot to a boil, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3 cups of white sugar and 2 cups of brown sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until the pot comes to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Step 4) Ladle jam into sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims and cover with lids and bands. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit on protected countertop for 24 hours before giving as gifts (or eating with a spoon, right out of the jar!).