Thursday, October 4, 2012
Tasty Tomato Jam
This summer I had my first truly successful garden and surprisingly, since we recently moved to the Pacific northwest, my tomatoes were my best crop. So as the summer came to an end I found myself with a large crop of ripe tomatoes. Large enough that I couldn't quite eat all of them by myself. Luckily I was pointed to this recipe for Tomato Jam by a group page I follow on Facebook called "Canning Granny". The initial recipe came from the blog "Food in Jars" and you can find it here: http://www.foodinjars.com/2010/09/tomato-jam/
As I have said many times I rarely follow a recipe exactly. So I did make a few adjustments though mostly only to accommodate what supplies I had on hand. I will say at first I was a bit skeptical of this jam and couldn't imagine what it might taste like but the end result is delightful and I keep thinking of new ways I would like to try it. Give it a shot and see for yourself what delicious concoctions might be in store!
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped (skins and seeds included)
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for ten minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer. Simmer for an additional 45 minutes to an hour stirring regularly. The mixture will reduce and begin to thicken. Remove from the heat when jam reaches desired consistency. (It should "sheet" off the spoon in one big drop instead of many little ones)
While your jam is cooking you should have the jars sterilizing in your processing pot. After removing the jam from the heat fill jars to within 1/4 inch of the top and seal with lids. Process in boiling for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes remove the jars from the water bath and allow to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place.
There are a couple things I will likely change next time. I would like to have gotten more of the spices particularly the red pepper flakes so I think I will double that (I like some bite!) or maybe add some cayenne. Additionally I think using fresh ginger, as recommended in the initial recipe, would have made a world of difference so I intend to make sure I have that on hand next time.
This jam is unusual but fantastic. Just think a little outside the box and you will find all sorts of places to use it. I like it with some sharp cheddar cheese, on a BLT or a turkey and bacon sandwich. The only limit is your imagination so cook it up and have fun with it!