You see that pretty, shiny, bright orange stuff in that photo up there? That stuff is Carrot Confiture (preserves). Yes, you read that right -- carrot. I saw it being made on a tv cooking show - French Food at Home, and I knew I had to make it as a gift for Dear Friend K. K likes weird things, so I thought this was right up her alley.
But, that pretty, shiny, bright orange stuff took over my kitchen the first time I made it. Witness:
As it was cooking, it bubbled and splattered so much that my kitchen looked like some sort of alien war zone. I am still finding it stuck in weird spots! The night I made it, after I had cleaned up the wreckage, I looked in the mirror, and found it on my face and in my hair. And the worst part? Even after all that, I still ended up with this mess:
Not one to let failure get me down, I went back to the interwebs to figure out what I did wrong. You see, the recipe that I found on CookingChannelTV.com was not all that specific, so I sort of had to guess. In the recipe, you boil carrots until they are tender, and then it just says to puree and then cook with sugar and lemon juice. I wasn't sure if that meant I should keep the water, or drain the carrots, so for the first attempt, I kept the water, which turned out to be a gigantic mistake. I learned this after I went searching on YouTube for video of the show where Laura Calder makes the stuff. After I watched the video, I tried again.
The second batch was a success, and not nearly as messy! The stuff is very sweet, but I thought it was pretty good. Not sure I recommend making it, unless you want to for the novelty of it.
Source: French Food at Home, Laura Calder
Makes 2 cups
1 pound carrots, peeled
Water, as needed
2 cups sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
10 whole almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons Cognac
Slice the carrots and put them in a saucepan covered with water. Boil until very soft, then DRAIN, then run through a food mill to puree (fp note: i don't have a food mill, but i do have a potato ricer, which i used for this. i think it worked just fine.). Return to the saucepan. Stir the sugar into the puree, and add the lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, and cook until glassy and jammy. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the chopped almonds and the Cognac. Cool.