Curried Carrot Butter

???????????????????????????????I love apple butter.  And apple chokecherry butter.  And peach butter.  But I have never had a vegetable butter.  Until now.  And let me confess, I’ve found a new love.  I found this intriguing recipe for a curried carrot butter in a special edition of Better Homes and Gardens magazine this spring–an edition dedicated entirely to canning, drying, freezing, and other types of preserving.  I love flipping through this magazine; I practically drool on myself every time I read through it, trying to decide what recipe I’m going to make when I get my next CSA share.  Even though we haven’t gotten carrots in several weeks (not for lack of trying, though) thankfully the carrots in my garden are approaching harvestable size and I was able to scrounge up enough to make this carrot butter.  I’ve been itching to make it ever since we got carrots in our share a few weeks ago, only to be disappointed to find out that Hubby gave away all but 1 carrot while I was in the field.

The carrot butter recipe in the magazine was one of very few canning recipes that could not be safely processed in a boiling water bath (it freezes, though), so I took that as my cue to adjust things as I pleased and still have no fear that I would inadvertently kill myself with a nasty case of botulism.

I reduced the amounts called for in the recipe because I didn’t have enough carrots for the original, but I still got 2 half pints out of it, plus just enough to have on a biscuit with tonight’s dinner.  I froze one of the pints and stuck the other one in the fridge–we’ll see how long it lasts.  I have a feeling I’m going to be urging my carrots along in my garden so I can make this again very soon.

Curried Carrot Butter (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine)

1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 4 cups chopped)

1 cup water

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Scrub the carrots well but leave the peels on (there’s vitamins in there, you know!).  Cut the carrots into 2 to 3 inch pieces and place in a shallow baking dish.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil (this is optional, but I highly recommend it).  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours or until the carrots are soft.*  Cool slightly.

Transfer the carrots to a blender or food processor.  Cover and process until carrots are a smooth puree, using the water to help make a carrot slurry.  Pour the blended carrots into a medium sized saucepan and add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and stays mounded on a spoon.  Stir the mixture frequently to prevent it from burning to the bottom of the saucepan.

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The humble beginnings of curried carrot butter are slightly soupy.

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After simmering for a while, the mixture will thicken considerably and stay mounded on a spoon.  This is a great way to multi-task while you are doing other things in the kitchen, like cooking dinner (which is exactly what I did tonight).  You can be doing other things and every once and a while give this a good stir. 

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Once the butter reaches the right consistency, ladle it into half pint (or smaller) canning jars or other freezer-safe storage container, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Cool for 30 minutes, then seal and label containers.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (good luck keeping it that long!) or freeze up to 6 months.  Makes approximately 3 half pints.

*if you don’t want to roast the carrots, you can boil them in the water and process them the same way using these directions.

Try serving this butter warm with French bread and goat cheese or at room temperature with pita chips.  I am fairly certain this will make an appearance at my next potluck.

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