Homemade marmalade has been a long standing tradition in my family. Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers were fruit preserve queens! My mom also made her fair share, too. I’ve dabbled a bit but lost interest while we lived in Asia as storage was limited and cold rooms were non-existent. While fruit such as orange or grapefruit are common when it comes to marmalade, I’ve never heard of carrots being used until I saw Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. I caught the tail end of the show and was intrigued when carrot marmalade was paired with thinly sliced Virgina ham, and mayo on top of a slice of bread. The combo wasn’t something I would have entertained but it peaked my interest so I knew I had to make it!
According to The Oxford Companion to Food, marmelada was the Portuguese name for a sweet quince paste. This luxury good was imported to Britain by the late 15th century, to be used as a medicine or a sweetmeat. All marmalades were solid confections, to be cut into slices and eaten with fingers, not at all like modern marmalade. A minor but interesting facet of this British attainment is that, among all the numerous culinary operations carried out in British domestic kitchens, marmalade-making is one which is quite often performed by men. Who knew?
Makes 2 cups
inspired by Fig and Fauna
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 cups water
2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 – 2 cups natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
Add zest and juice of the lemon and orange in a large pot and top with the water. Boil for ten minutes then add the carrots, cardamom and sugar to the mixture. Continue boiling until the marmalade is thick and forms a sheet when poured from the spoon, about 30 minutes. Seal marmalade in sterilized jars and process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Allow marmalade to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate once opened.
The maple board below is hand made in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Swaine Street Woodworking. If you enjoy the natural beauty of wood cutting boards as much as I do, I highly recommend a visit to Jana’s site.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: A quick way to test if the marmalade is ready, place a small plate in the freezer. After the 30 minute cooking period, take a teaspoon of the marmalade and place it on the chilled plate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Tilt the plate. The mixture should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If it is thin and runny, it is not ready. Continue boiling for another 5 minutes and do the test again. This has to be the easiest marmalade recipe to make and it tastes like orange marmalade! Enjoy!