Eingemakhts - Beetroot Jam
Beetroot jam, like from the old country (Cheadle / der heim), is totally the taste of my childhood at Pesach.
I found this recipe (which I amended slightly for modernity) in Spoilt for Choice, the shul cookbook from Yeshurun.
- 10lb beetroots
- 7 1/2 lb sugar
- 12 lemons
- 2 oz powdered ginger
- small piece of root ginger
- 1/4 lb almonds
(I will convert this to metric at some point, but it seems fitting with the old country ways to be imperial, weight-wise).
- Put the whole beetroots in a bowl in the microwave, in a small amount of water for 10 minutes. You may need to do this in two batches. Reserve the water.
- Peel the beetroots, and cut them into matchsticks. This takes a long time if you do it by hand.
- Put chopped beetroot in pan, pour sugar over, leave overnight.
- In the morning, the sugar will have turned into a syrup, and you're ready to start cooking.
- Grate the skin of two lemons (not the pith) and add this, plus the strained juice of all lemons, to the betroots and sugar
- Bring to the boil, and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, ideally on a rolling boil (for jam), and keep an eye on it. If it boils over your entire kitchen is a sticky, red mess.
- Blanche the almonds - pour boiling water over them, leave for 2 minutes max, drain, and then slip the skins off the nuts. This is remarkably therapeutic
- Cut the ginger root into small cubes, and 30 minutes before the end, add to the pot.
- 10 minutes before the end, add the blanched almonds. 2 minutes before the end, add the powdered ginger.
- Test for a set on a plate you conveniently left in the freezer at the start - the jam should form a skin.
- wash and warm 24 1/2 lb (454g) jars (I buy these in Lakeland), and ladle the jam into a jug. Pour into the jars, seal with a wax disk and close the lid firmly. (This year I bought an easy-fill Jam funnel from Lakeland, which made my life a lot easier)
Allow a morning / afternoon for the whole process. This is traditionally a Pesach delicacy (although I suspect in Eastern Europe they just had a lot of beetroots in the Spring), which is why there is foil on my countertops, as I could only start my Pesach cooking once I'd changed to my Pesach pots and cleaned the kitchen. Don't even ask.
NOTE: I found that using disposable food-grade gloves meant my hands did not go pink, which I recommend.