Can It, Bake It, Grow It, Swap It!!!

Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Last week when I was talking about my carrot cake jam, I mentioned that I was making it for a food swap our library was hosting. I knew that there would be some tasty treats there (we have a large population of excellent cooks in our community), and the results did not disappoint!

So… what is a food swap and how does it work? Well, basically you bake, can, grow, forage, or otherwise bring something to the proverbial (and literal) table. You taste. You talk. You trade. It was so fun, and a great way to engage with our neighbors! We had many curious patrons who expressed interest in participating in our next go-around. And I hope they do! What a fun way to try new things.

Here’s what we had today…

Cookies:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Ginger-chocolate mini scones:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

(My) carrot cake jam:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Granola:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Fresh honey nut butter:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Local eggs from happy chickens:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Sriracha (better than anything with a rooster on it — trust me!):::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Handcrafted vanilla extract:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

Spicy Guinness Mustard:::
Clinton Community Library Food Swap

We shall eat well, indeed! I feel a little bit spoiled, and a lot bit lucky to be part of this.

I am already thinking ahead and deciding what to make for our next one. Perhaps some fermented sauerkraut or spicy pickled vegetables? I definitely think it will be something fresh and vinegary. But homemade hot fudge could be fun too… So many delicious possibilities!

{Recipe} Carrot Cake Jam

Carrot Cake Jam

Have you guys heard about food swaps? Apparently they’re the cool new thing. People all over the country are whipping up delicious things in their kitchens (or growing them in their backyards) and then swapping for other tasty goods with like-minded individuals. So when our library director put a food swap on our calendar, I was really excited to participate! The only thing: I wanted to bring something a little bit different.

A few years ago I nabbed a Better Homes & Garden canning magazine. It had a recipe for carrot cake jam that I fully intended to make and enter in the Dutchess County Fair. I don’t know what happened, but I never got around to it. Until yesterday.

Now, before I share this recipe, be warned: there is a ton of sugar in it. But it’s jam. And that’s the way it goes. I did use no-sugar pectin so in theory I could have reduced how much I used, but I didn’t.

OK. So, the first thing you need to do is start your water bath and sterilize your canning jars, new lids, and bands.

Next, combine 1 peeled diced pear (I used my food processor to make the pieces really tiny and save time), 2 cups of shredded carrots, a 16 oz. can of crushed pineapple in 100% juice (NOT heavy syrup), lemon juice (when canning, use bottled because it has a consistent pH), cinnamon, and nutmeg in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Carrot Cake Jam

Then, take the pot off the heat and sprinkle your pectin over the mixture. Stir it in.

Carrot Cake Jam

Now add your sugar. Just look the other way and dump in 4 cups of white granulated sugar and 2 cups of brown sugar. (Remember, you’re not eating massive amounts of this! Although then again… you might want to.) Stir it all up again.

Carrot Cake Jam

And like magic… you have jam!

Carrot Cake Jam

Bring it back up to a rolling boil and stir constantly for one minute while it’s boiling. Next, take it off the heat and add 1 Tsp. vanilla and (optional) 1/4 c. flaked coconut or raising. Because I am a wild woman, I added both.

Then ladle the jam into your sterilized jars, add the lid, snug on the band, and process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

IMPORTANT: Remember that processing time starts when the water returns to a big, angry boil. It does not start when you just put the jars into the pot.

I like to slather some cream cheese on (preferably homemade) bread and top it with the jam. I think it would also benefit from a sprinkling of walnuts.

This jam has been taste-tested and approved by my two boys, ages 7 and 10, so you know it’s good!

 

Carrot Cake Jam
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
  2. 1 medium pear, finely chopped
  3. 1 15-oz. can of crushed pineapple packed in 100% juice
  4. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  7. 1 1 .75-oz package of pectin
  8. 4 c. granulated sugar
  9. 2 c. packed brown sugar
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1/4 c. flaked coconut or raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine carrots, pears, pineapple, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg is a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, giving it a stir often.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle the mixture with pectin. Stir until it dissolves.
  3. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Return to a rolling boil. Boil the mixture for 1 minute while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Add vanilla and coconut/raisins.
  4. Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims and adjust the lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the pot and allow to cool.
Notes
  1. Don’t forget to check the seals later on — you don’t want to store anything that hasn’t been properly processed!
Adapted from Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Canning magazine, Summer 2011
Adapted from Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Canning magazine, Summer 2011
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/

 

 

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