Friday, March 12, 2010

Carrot Marmalade

This was a small batch (2 pints worth) that I didn't feel was worth putting through a water bath. We'll polish it off quickly, so I'm storing it in the fridge. As it is a completely new recipe, I have no idea how it would work for canning. Personally, I'd give it 10 minutes in a water bath canner, but it isn't like 15 would hurt. Just keep in mind, it is untested. I was really pleased with the results, so I'll probably go ahead and preserve a batch at some point and post the results.

Most recipes for carrot marmalade call for liquid pectin. This seems like a waste of a rather expensive product that can be put to better use making Moosehead beer gumdrops. I don't have anything against pectin, I just didn't think with all the orange peel and pulp it was really necessary.

I used a blood orange and a Cara Cara because that was what I had. The blood orange left dark flecks throughout which is attractive once you realise you didn't burn the carrots to the bottom of the pot. Yeah, it had me fooled for a second.

I added the maraschino cherries because Danny loves them. I thought they would go well with carrots and pineapple and they ended up giving the whole marmalade a lovely jewel-like appearance.

I used some of it already to fill a gingerbread spice cake, and I couldn't be happier.

You Will Need:

4 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups crushed pineapple. well drained
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut-up
1 large Cara Cara orange (peel removed and reserved) pith removed and chopped up
1 blood orange (peel removed and reserved) pith removed and chopped up
1 large lemon (peel removed and reserved) juiced (should total about 1/3 cup liquid. You can top-up with bottled lemon juice if you are short)
4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cut up peels into thin strips about 1 1/2 inches long. Place in a small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat three times until peel is soft. Keep in mind that once you add sugar to the peel, they will never get any softer, so make sure you have them as soft as you like before proceeding.

Add everything else to a very large, heavy pot and with a long, wooden spoon stir constantly over medium heat (so you don't burn the sugar) until dissolved. Continue to cook over medium heat until it reaches the boil. It will sputter, so really-use a long handled spoon. At this point, you keep cooking until the oranges break down, and the mixture thickens. Mine took about 20 minutes, but stoves vary quite a bit. You'll want to keep stirring to prevent sticking. Use a cold spoon to test for doneness. In my experience, marmalade is best a bit underdone because once it goes hard, you'll break knives trying to pry it out of the jar. If you think you're *almost* to the gelling point, and it barely sheets off a spoon when tested, I'd err on the side of caution and pull it off the heat. If you do overcook it, all is not lost-it makes great marinades melted down with other liquid. I've brushed a few ducks with marmalade in my day ( that almost sounds like it could be a euphemism for something dirty, doesn't it? "You damn DUCKBRUSHER!").

I let mine cool in a large, shallow casserole dish, and then packed it into jars to keep in the fridge.

No comments: