I once had a friend who believed that carrot cake was an acceptable choice on any diet, since technically it is a vegetable. I’m not sure Carrot Cake Jam exactly qualifies as a vegetable, but what goes into the jar was harvested in the field and it sure tastes a lot like the cake after which it is named.
The final pickup of the 2013 season at Restoration Farm features crisp, sunny carrots that sparkle in the morning light. The splash of bright orange color immediately catches the eye.
Root vegetables personify the heartiest traits of the farm, drawing their earthy flavor directly from the elements of soil and water that comprises the land.
Perhaps it is my need to extend the season that prompts me to – once again – organize a weekend canning project. This recipe for Carrot Cake Jam intrigues me. The jam evokes tradition, and the flavors of Carrot Cake a touch of nouveau cuisine.
Grated carrots, chopped pears and canned pineapple are simmered with sugar, pectin and warm autumn seasonings – cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. I’ll be able to enjoy the sweet carrots of Restoration Farm for some time to come.
By now, my canning skills are practically instinctive, which was a goal of mine for the season. Once hesitant to tackle home preserving, it now comes quite naturally.
Here’s the rub with jam. You actually can’t sample the fruit of your labor until the job is complete – the jam is just too hot. But, the aroma is rich and inviting, and a pretty clear indicator of success.
The delectable spread packed into the jars is chunky and sweet, and the house indeed smells like warm Carrot Cake is baking in the oven.
A slice of homemade bread spread with cream cheese and Carrot Cake Jam on a bracing autumn afternoon will assure that the flavors and textures of Restoration Farm continue to delight the senses.
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