Beet Jam

March 31, 2022
8 Ratings
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • makes 2 cups
Author Notes

I grew up with pickled beets in the fridge at all times. They were a staple in our household. I know beets can taste like dirt and be annoying to work with, but they’re worth it. Beets are high in natural sugars—higher than most vegetables—which gives them a characteristic sweetness hiding under those earthy notes. This gives beets versatility: They work in savory recipes, as well as sweet ones—like this beet jam. It’s sweet, earthy, slightly tart, and can be used in endless ways: cheese sandwiches, peanut butter toast, meat marinades, even ice cream. For the zest and juice, I especially like blood oranges here, but any kind works. —Carolina Gelen

What You'll Need
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Beet Jam
  • 6 small (350 to 400 grams) beets, preferably organic
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from 1 to 2 oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
  1. Peel the beets, then finely chop or coarsely grate them.
  2. Add the beets, sugar, orange zest, and salt to a 3- to 4-quart pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the beets start to release their juices.
  3. Add the orange juice and 1 cup of water and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat to medium to medium-low. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beets are softened and fork tender.
  4. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, until a majority of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a smoothie-like consistency.
  5. Using a countertop blender, immersion blender, or food processor, carefully blend the mixture until smooth. (If you’re using a countertop blender, just remove the plug from the lid so steam can escape, and cover with a kitchen towel and firm grip.)
  6. Return the mixture to the pot and continue cooking for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the jam reaches your desired consistency. Taste and add more lemon if you’d like. In an airtight container, this will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ann Del Tredici
    Ann Del Tredici
  • epicharis
  • carswell
Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

4 Reviews

Ann D. October 16, 2022
Well, I made it...and am not thrilled with it. My beets never got really soft (after an hour of cooking) and the cooked mixture did not blend well--it stayed quite textured. My batch yielded 8 ounces. It's a splattery project so wear old clothes and an apron if you decide to make it. Maybe putting it through a sieve or chinois would give a better texture. The color of it is amazing and goes well with white or yellow foods.
Ann D. April 24, 2022
This is such a brilliant idea--brilliant color and brilliant concept. I bought beets just for this--will try making tomorrow!
epicharis April 21, 2022
Agreed this needs cardamom or something to punch it up a bit. It's a splendid color. Take this off a little sooner than you think to avoid a grittier texture.
carswell April 12, 2022
I love beets. The only thing I can think of that might improve on this is the addition of some freshly ground cardamom.