I first made tomato jam a few years ago as an accompaniment to a decadent middle eastern-inspired meal in honor of my friend Nadia and her then-boyfriend, Martin who'd made the long trek out from Boston to visit us in Berkeley. Nadia is an adventurous cook and an appreciative eater so we ended up spending a lot of our time together in the kitchen.
In addition to the spiced tomato jam, the
meal feast included spiced lamb kabobs, tzatziki (a.k.a., cucumber yogurt salad), lemon-scented quinoa with tahini and chickpeas, hummous topped with caramelized onions, Greek yogurt, roasted golden beets, pinenuts, and cilantro, and a green salad and some pita to round it all out. Needless to say, no one went hungry.
So when I saw this enticing recipe for tomato jam on Food In Jars (an awesome canning and preserving blog written by Marisa McClellan) I realized that it's been too long since I've made this delectable jam. In fact, not only have Nadia and Martin had time to tie the knot since I last made tomato jam, they now have an extremely cute 8-month-old, too. Looks like I've been slacking!
Marisa's recipe below is nearly identical to the Mark Bittman recipe I first used. I don't think you could go wrong with either one but since I've already posted about the Bittman one, I'll give Food In Jars' version a try. As canning projects go, this one is easy.
You wash your tomatoes.
You wash your tomatoes.
Chop them up.
Grate some fresh ginger.
Simmer it in a pot with lime juice, sugar, salt and a few ground spices until it gets thick and gooey.
Fill your sterilized jars with the hot jam and toss them into the canning pot for a bit.
Et voilá! You have tomato jam - sweet, salty, spicy. Try this delectable jam on bread or crackers with some goat cheese or brie or something much stinkier, serve it with grilled sausage (it's great with these spiced lamb kabobs) or steak, use it in place of ketchup on a burger, or try it as a glaze for roasted chicken or pork - I think you will love it!
If you don't want to bother with canning, just cut the proportions down accordingly to make a much smaller amount. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week in a tightly covered jar.
Makes between 3 and 5 pints, depending on what kind of tomatoes you use and how long you reduce it
* 5 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
* 3 1/2 cups sugar
* 8 tablespoons lime juice
* 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
2. When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove it from the heat and fill the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel, apply the lids and twist on the rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
3. When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When the jars are cool enough to handle, test the seals. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Not feeling totally confident about how to can food? Check out my how-to post here for an overview of the process.
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