This delicious 3-ingredient carrot jam is based on a recipe from 1865. It’s bright, tasty and super-easy with no unusual equipment needed. It tastes like apricot jam!
I’ve only recently started to make jam. My mum is a legendary jam maker so it is easiest to leave it to her (or Bonne Mamman and the ladies from my local Women’s Institute bake sale, if I’m honest).
But after my successful first batch of strawberry jam I’ve been on a roll. However, this is me, and I prefer to make things with vegetables.
I’d heard of Mrs Beeton’s carrot jam, so with a big bag of carrots to hand, I set to work. This recipe makes a small batch jam – just two jars – so it’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t want too much!
It is really lovely and oddly doesn’t taste of carrots at all – it is just like apricot jam! Also, it is luminous orange. It’s like 1990s rave jam. I can’t tell you how much that pleases me.
This recipe is adapted from the famous historic cookery book, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1865.
How to Make Vegetable Jam
Just like with various berries, you can turn lots of vegetables into jam.
Carrot is one of the most popular of the veg jams, and it’s particularly common in the Middle East. My next veg-based jam to try out will be parsnip – I imagine that earthy sweet root would be perfect.
I’d also love to try making jam with squash, pumpkin or courgette/zucchini. It’s such a great way to use up gluts or to preserve the veg when they’re in season.
You can make chutney with courgette or carrot, but I like the sweeter and smoother texture of jam. It’s lovely on toast, yogurt, cereal, waffles, pancakes and so much more. I’ve even used carrot jam as a filling in cake in the Carrot Victoria Sponge recipe in my debut cookbook,Veggie Desserts + Cakes, and for my carrot jammy dodger cookies!
You could call this jam, carrot marmalade or carrot butter. It’s a thick consistency and I like adding some of the carrot back in so it isn’t too smooth. It’s a versatile spread that’s sweet yet tangy, vibrantly coloured and bursting with flavour.
I really have no idea how you can mix carrots, lemon and sugar and it comes out tasting so much like apricot jam. It’s magic and wizardry, yet soooo delicious.
Uses for Carrot Jam
There are many ways to use carrot jam, and other vegetable jam recipes. Try it on:
- Pies and tarts
I love the sweetness that carrots bring to sweet treats. We’ve all heard of carrot cake, but I like to use them in more original ways.
Check out my other carrot recipes, including: my super-easy quick cinnamon carrot soda bread. With no kneading or rising, you can have bread on the table in 30 minutes! I also have the recipe for carrot orange cupcakes with orange icing. Unlike spiced heavy carrot cakes, the carrot cupcakes are light and zingy from the orange.
I hope you’ll enjoy this unusual jam recipe. It’s sweet, easy, delicious and a great way to use up a glut of carrots or to save some from being wasted.
It’s lovely on hot buttered toast, as a cake filling, on pancakes or any other way you like to use jam! Get creative with scones, tea cakes or swirl it into blondies. There are so many options for this yummy and versatile spread.
Happy jam making, Kate x
3 Ingredient Carrot Jam Recipe
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Makes 2 jam jars of jam.
- 1 1/2 lb (750g, 26oz) carrots
- 2 1/3 cups (450g) granulated sugar
- 2 lemons (zest of 1 lemon, juice of 2 lemons)
- Peel and grate a carrot to total 50g (2 oz) grated. Set aside.
- With the rest of the carrots, peel them and chop into rounds. Put in a saucepan and add enough water to just cover them. Cook until soft, drain and puree with a blender or immersion hand blender. Put the pureed carrots into a fine sieve and push out any excess water.
- Weigh out 400g (14 oz) of the pureed carrot and discard the rest (though it's great to add to soups, stews or mixed with maple syrup and added to porridge)
- Put the carrot puree and the 50g (2 oz) of grated carrot into a large saucepan. Add the granulated sugar and, while stirring constantly, bring to the boil for five minutes. Skim if it gets frothy.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Pour into warm, sterilised jars (running them through the dishwasher is easiest) and screw on the lids. Store in a cool, dry place and use within one year.