Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Carrot Jam

The idea of carrot jam might seem a little different, maybe even odd, to some people but carrots are regularly used in sweet treats and baked goods so why not make it into jam? Carrot jam is often found in classic Indian and Persian cooking, which is where we got the idea to add a touch of green cardamom to our batch.

So, after weeks of holiday and market sales, fruit orders, jam deliveries, kiwi pickups and all sorts of paperwork, we went to the production kitchen to do what we do best: we peeled and shredded juicy organic carrots from Forstbauer Farms until our fingers were embarrassingly orange.

Then, we zested and juiced plenty of sweet, delicious cara cara oranges, many bags of lemons and a few limes as well (note to self, purchase electric juicer ASAP. oooooh, to be a small business just starting up, the things you learn.... lesson number 1000: trying to save money by juicing seven huge bags of citrus by hand is absolutely ridiculous.)

We then put on some tunes because, when you plan on spending a few hours stirring giant pots of shredded carrots, you are going to need a little music to keep you awake. You see, we make all our jams in small batches so there are no big machines stirring for us and no large amount of sugar or pectin to accelerate the process. It really is just the two of us watching over the jam, going from one pot to the next until the fruit or vegetable has reduced significantly and everything smells and looks just right to us. We assure you, it actually is a lot of fun.

Carrot jam is terrific. It has a vibrant orange colour and the shredded carrot gives it a texture similar to that of a smooth marmalade. The first bite is a little earthy and quite "carroty" and the orange juice and zest bring a nice sweetness and tanginess to the carrots. The acidity from the lemons balances the jam off perfectly and the lime and green cardamom give it that extra bright and fresh note that it needs. Needless to say, we are quite happy with this jam.

So far, we think that the ultimate carrot jam treat is to layer it with cream cheese over a dark rye bread. Soooo good. You could also add it to a dressing or directly into a sweet cabbage salads for a nice winter snack. We found it pairs particularly well with spicy curry or other Indian foods such as samosas. But we know you can come up with many more combinations. In fact, enough about our ideas, we would love to hear what you serve Sticky Spoon jam with...?!

Please take note: Sticky Spoon Carrot Jam is now available!

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