Monday, September 9, 2013
Adventures in Canning: Tomato Jam
Maybe it's just me, but I find it sort of strange that the first jam I've ever made is tomato. Honestly, I hadn't ever heard of such a thing until I was looking for ideas for preserving cherry tomatoes (since we have an overabundance this year). I happened across the idea to make tomato jam, which was perfect since it doesn't require you to skin or de-seed the tomatoes (can you imagine trying to skin 5 lbs. of tiny tomatoes!?). The skin and seeds actually add to the flavor and texture of the jam, too. After researching the idea a bit, I came up with this recipe and I must say, it rocks! Sweet and savory, tomatoey... but not too acidic. I just can't wait to see all the fun recipes we will come up with using this jam! I imagine it would be awesome on burgers, splendid on sandwiches, and divine on a biscuit or English muffin. Only time will tell, but for now, here's how Mama makes it:
Ingredients: (makes about 3-4 pints, depending on how long you cook it. Mine made exactly 6 half-pint jars.)
- 5 lbs. tomatoes, chopped (I used a mix of small and large tomatoes)
- 2 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. cloves
- 1 T. salt
- 1/2 T. red chili flakes (or more if you like it extra spicy)
- 1/2 t. cumin
1. In a large pot, bring all ingredients to a boil over high heat.
I coarsely chopped the tomatoes,
if you want a smoother jam, chop finer
we have several different varieties of tomatoes this year
so it was a combination of several cherry/pear-shaped tomatoes,
a couple larger heirlooms, and some small romas
start with a good vigorous boil
then reduce to a heavy simmer,
or a gentle boil... however you choose to look at it
until you get this nice jammy texture
again, make sure it's thick enough, then can away!
these Ball jar funnels are great
they collapse for wide mouth jars, too
now to find the lids...
rings also make great bracelets
don't set the jars on a cool surface right away or they may crack
gotta love hard water... at least it wipes off!
this would make a great gift along with
some crackers, homemade bread, fancy cheeses, etc.
can't wait to come up with lots of fun ways to use it!