tomato jam

I want to make a passionate plea for tomato jam.

Alright, I admit it's maybe more of making a persuasive case for you to make tomato jam.

1. Normally tomatoes are best in early September and in abundance which equates to cheap. Super cheap, especially if you get ugly tomatoes. Ugly tomatoes are the ones that are a little bruised, misshapen, about to go bad. Remember that those tomatoes need love too. I bought 25 pounds for 3 dollars at the farmer's market.With that 25 pounds, I made:

- 2 gallons of spaghetti sauce
- 4 quarts of pickled tomatoes with jalapenos
- 3 pints of tomato jam
- salsa

2. Pretty soon it will be winter and you won't remember what a fresh ripe homegrown summer tomato tastes like. It is going to get cold. The sky will get dark at 5PM. The rain, snow, fog, wind, damp bitter weather will make you cry for yo' momma or reach for the Prozac and a bottle of tequila.

[Right here is where Katie will call me up from college and say, 'Mooooooom, you know you can't mix anti-depressants with alcohol. Why even suggest it?' I will tell her, 'It's called hyperbole,dear and anyways you will do former not the latter.'  Also... don't mix anti-depressants with tequila. This PSA brought to you by ECM. ]

In this case, some forethought will provide you some summertime [legal/non-lethal/non-prescription] happiness in the middle of a deary winter.

This recipe is the essence of summer. Sweet but with little bit of tang from the vinegar, surprisingly it is jammy with a pleasant little kick from the chile pepper, red pepper flakes, and ginger. A mouth full of umami. Honestly, I want to wallow in this like a pig in shit it's so good.

I bet you are now wondering how to serve this wonderful essence of summer? Toast with eggs. Fresh hot bread with some mozzarella. Pizza. Quesedillas. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and biscuits. Slather it on your body? I don't care. Just make it.

tomato jam: sara foster's southern kitchen
(printable recipe)
makes about 2 pints (I ended up with 3 pints)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
3 pounds of tomatoes, cored and chopped
2/3 cup if unpacked light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 small chile pepper, cored and minced (I used jalapeno)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 whole cloves

Heat olive oil in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook and stir for about five minutes, until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, orange zest and juice, ginger, thyme, chile pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and cloves and stir to mix.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the jam to a chunky consistency.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (Skip removing from heat if you are canning this jam)

Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to one month.

Canning Instructions:

Sterilize jars, lids, and rings in a large pot, cover with water, and boil for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the pot, covered, until ready to fill.

Bring another large pot of water to a roiling boil.

Drain and carefully fill hot jars, taking care not to touch the rims or interiors with your bare hands. Use a funnel if you have one. Leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace.

With a clean towel, wipe down rims and sides of jars. Place the sterilized lids on the jars and screw on the rings until secure but not fully tightened.

Place jars in the boiling water, reduce heat and keep at a boil for 10 minutes.When you are done processing, turn off the heat and let jars sit in the water for another 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water and let sit undisturbed until completely cool, about 5 hours or overnight. As the jars cool down you should be able to hear the lids popping. That's the sign that they have sealed correctly. If they haven't 'popped' store in the refrigerator and eat promptly.

Check the seal on each lid. If sealed correctly, the center will be slightly depressed and will not' pop' when pressed.

Clearly mark jars with the packing date. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use. This jam should keep for up to 6 months. Refrigerate after opening and use within 1-2 months.

Warning: use good judgement when opening. If it smells funky, don't eat it. If it looks funky, don't eat it. Anything funky? Just throw out. Got it? Good.


-Erika said...

Just wondering if you recommend peeling the tomatoes first? sometimes those skins can be tough.

krysta said...

@erika... you know i didn't notice a problem with it and neither did any of my food critics (family) and they would be the first to let me know. if you want do peel them, go ahead. i would find thin skinned tomatoes and skip the peeling though.

Eva said...

that's an insane amount of tomato products! i still have jars of sauce and sun dried tomatoes from last year and that's just from my garden. i threw mine into a blender for a few seconds rather than chopping. that also took care of any issue with chunks of skin. never heard of tomato jam before but maybe i'll try it next year (no garden this year)

Unknown said...

This recipe will be done by tomorrow morning for breakfast ! Thanks for sharing :)

Maryam from The Gourmet