Yes, the only people that would think of making a jam out of a beetroot. One spoon of this sends me right back to my childhood.
My Grandma’s jam was legendary, and she used to make jars and jars. I would have thick layers of it on matza for breakfast and eat it out of the jar when no one was looking. If you haven’t tasted it before I can imagine your hesitation, but it’s amazing. Cinnamon, lemon and ginger give it this fantastic sweet and spicy kick. The secret is to slow cook it until all the redness is gone, and it becomes brown and sweet.
Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Jewish cooking heroine Evelyn Rose. You need to start the preparations a day in advance. Yes, it’s time consuming. And it stains your hands. And your clothes. It’s a labor of love.
2.25 kg (5 lb) uncooked beetroot (beets)
1.8 kg (4 lb/9 cups) granulated sugar
3 large lemons, peeled and segmented like an orange
175 g (6oz/1.5 cups) split almonds (traditional, but I leave them out)
3- 4 tbsp ground ginger (I add loads more, but I like it SPICY!)
2 tsp cinnamon
This makes 7 jars; I usually halve the amount, because unfortunately my kids just don’t understand this delicacy!
1. Boil the uncooked beetroot in water to cover for 1 hours, then cool and skin
2. Cut the cooked beetroot into 1 cm (3/8 inch) wide and 2.5 cm (1-2 inch) long, or use the julienne cutter on a food processor)
3. Put into a large bowl with the sugar. Mix well and leave overnight
4. Next day, put the sugar/beetroot mixture into a very large, heavy pan, together with the lemon segments
5. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Then leave to bubble over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 3 hours, until the mixture loses the redness and the beetroot becomes translucent and starts to turn brown
6. Finally add the almonds and the ginger. Taste and add more ginger if you like
7. Bubble for another 15 minutes
8. Sterilize 7 jam jars. The easiest way to do this is to run them through the dishwasher on the highest setting
9. Fill with the jam and screw on the lids
Let me know how you got on!
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