Having a glut of carrots means preserving them. One of the more unusual ways I have tried is to make a marmalade which brings out the natural sweetness of carrots and transforms them into something we all recognise as a preserve most commonly spread on toast.
Preserving Carrots A Different Way
Carrots are full of natural sweetness and colour and these work brilliantly in this recipe for marmalade. Traditionally marmalade is made with oranges, lemons grapefruit or other citrus fruits, but in particular, bitter oranges. This carrot marmalade recipe includes zest and juice from oranges and lemons but all the body comes from carrots.
I came across this recipe in the book Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen and had to try it for myself.
Pectin In Carrots Is Perfect For Marmalade
Marmalade is most often made with the juice and zest of citrus fruits and is essentially a jam made from fruit such as oranges with added rind or zest.
Zest from citrus fruits contain a high amount of pectin, this is a reason why the zest is used in marmalade, to help it set.
Carrots are also naturally high in pectin around 0.8% pectin compared to citrus which is between 0.5 – 3% pectin. This makes them perfect for making a set conserve like a marmalade. The sweetness along with a little help from some orange and lemon zest and juice really makes a remarkable marmalade.
How To Make Carrot Marmalade
For this recipe, the yield is about 3 half-pint jars but you can multiply the recipe up according to how many carrots you want to preserve.
Carrot Marmalade Ingredients – Yields 3 medium jars
- 1kg / 2.2lb Carrots
- 650g / 1.4lb Granulated Sugar
- 3 Oranges
- 3 Lemons
Peel the carrots and grate using a coarse box grater. A food processor with a grater attachment will make quick work of this if you have one.
Add the carrots to a preserving pan or a large heavy-bottomed pan along with the juice and zest of the oranges and lemons and 550ml of water. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes add the sugar, stirring to get it completely dissolved. Bring everything to a boil and continue with a good simmer for around 15 – 20 minutes.
After 15 to 20 minutes the marmalade should reach the set point at 220°F or 104°C. You can do a test on a plate as per the instructions here.
Once the marmalade has reached the setting point remove from the heat and package into clean and sterilised jars whilst they are still hot. Put on the lids and seal whilst hot which will create a vacuum once cooled.
The marmalade will last 3 – 6 months.