Carrot Cake Jam

In my book, there's no better way to brighten up a dark late-autumn day than by making a batch of sweet, brightly colored jam. This "carrot cake" jam is a bit unusual but oh-so-good. It makes anything taste like dessert -- even breakfast. Particularly great served on toast with a generous schmear of cream cheese.

(Note that this recipe makes 7 half-pints, so you may want to halve it, as I did.)

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Carrot Cake Jam
From Better Homes and Gardens' Canning
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
  • 1 cup finely chopped, peeled pear
  • 15-ounce can crushed pineapple (packed in juice), undrained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1.75-ounce package regular powdered fruit pectin
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut or raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large heavy pot, combine carrots, pear, pineapple with the juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Sprinkle mixture with pectin; stir until pectin dissolves.
Bring carrot mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar. Return to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon if there is any. Stir in coconut or raisins (if desired) and vanilla.

Ladle hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.

Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

Makes 7 half-pints.