The simplicity of this recipe (and the cardamom and lime) was what made me move it to the top of my ‘to try’ list.  Borrowed from ‘Cornersmith’, by Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant, this is a proper jam that needs to be cooked until it’s setting point…and it may be this year’s go-to, quick (but fabulous) appetizer – enjoy!

Carrot Jammakes about 6 cups

1 kg carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

6 cardamom pods, smashed and seeds extracted

juice and zest from 5 or 6 limes – I used the zest from 4, this measured to 1/3 cup in a one cup measure, and then I juiced the limes until I had 2/3 cup of zest and lime juice in the same cup

1 kg superfine (berry) sugar

1 t. fine sea salt AND 1/2 t. ground cardamom

Put the grated carrots into a large, wide (non-stick) sauce pan with the cardamom seeds.  Pour in 2 liters (8 cups) of water and bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the carrots are very soft.

Add in the lime zest and juice, sugar, salt and ground cardamom, stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil rapidly until setting point is reached – this should take at least 20 minutes, but 30 to 40 minutes is completely normal.

**Setting point is when you drop a titch of jam that you’re cooking on a cold plate, wait a few moments, and then wipe your finger through it.  If your finger leaves a clear line and the jam stays put, the jam has been cooked long enough.  You can test it several times if you wish but some jams are quite sensitive and it can be difficult to determine if they’re nicely set.  Jam is always tastier slightly under-cooked and a bit runny, than over done, harder and dark. **

When the jam is done, remove it from the heat and leave it to cool slightly while you sterilize your jars – you can do this in your oven, your dishwasher or even boil them if you wish.  Carefully pour the hot jam into your hot, sterilized jars, leaving a half centimeter at the top, wipe the rims and seal the jars.  If both your jars and the jam are hot then processing shouldn’t be necessary, but please make your own researched decision.  All of my jars sealed themselves beautifully, but I also planned to keep the jars that I didn’t give away in the fridge.

This is divine with goat cheese on a cracker or cucumber but it would also make a very lovely breakfast or snack on a piece of toast with ricotta or cream cheese.

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