When the bounty of a season of carrots have been harvested, besides freezing or pickling, I find a great option is roasting carrots and stewing with honey into a jam. Originally, I read about the idea in Chef Michael Smith’s book Open Kitchen (which is difficult to find now since it is out of print, but sometimes is available on sites like Amazon). He pan-roasted the carrots in butter, stirring constantly. I decided another approach would be to roast with less oil in a very hot oven. I still finish the jam on the stove top but it eliminates a lot of standing over and stirring. Chef Smith used this jam in a roasted carrot cake. I found that it makes a wonderful spread on a sandwich as well as a component of carrot cake or carrot muffins. To reduce the work on making muffins, I usually make the roasted carrot honey jam ahead and it can even be canned. My muffin recipe is based on Chef Michael Smith’s carrot cake, with variances to the carrot jam and using Gold Forest Grain‘s red fife and soft white wheat flour, I had to adjust the moisture content accordingly.
Roasted Carrot-Honey Jam
7 cups Riverbend Gardens carrots, cut into 1cm(1/2″) dice
1/2 cup Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
2/3 cup Coal Lake Honey Farms mixed flower honey
Preheat oven to 220C/450F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toss the carrots with the oil in a large bowl, then spread the carrots out in a single layer on the two prepared baking sheets. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden brown and softened.
Transfer the roasted carrots to a large pot with the honey, and simmer for 10 minutes until glazed with honey and deeply golden. Purée with a hand blender until smooth, or transfer to a blender and purée. Serve as a sandwich spread, as a bruschetta topping with shaved aged gouda or in a carrot muffin.
Roasted Carrot Muffins
1 recipe Roasted Carrot-Honey Jam
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated Riverbend Gardens carrots
2 cups Gold Forest Grains soft white flour
1 cup Gold Forest Grains red fife flour
2 cups demerera brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both varieties of flour with the brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the Roasted Carrot-Honey Jam, eggs and vanilla. Gradually work in the dry ingredients and grated carrot until a smooth batter is formed. Portion out the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean (about 20 minutes). Makes 30 regular sized muffins, 60 mini muffins or 3 medium sized loaves. Good for a week in an airtight container or frozen for several months.