preserve-tomatoes-tomato jam-6233-2015

I’ve been spending some quality time in the kitchen lately. Tomato Jam?  Really? I want to pinch myself I’m so excited to have made the time to preserve tomatoes, and especially tomato jam. My local farmer has her beautiful end of summer tomatoes available for U-Pick! You cannot believe what an amazing opportunity this presents!

 

Heirloom Tomatoes at the Farmer's Market

 

Tomato Jam is something really special.  It’s kind of a cross between sriracha preserves and gourmet ketchup – well, no – not really.  It’s difficult to describe except to say it is the best thing I have ever tasted. It’s a Southern thing, I guess, but I know anyone will love this.

As I plan how I will ration and savor my tomato jam with frugality, I have now already used two jars before I even stacked the beauties in the pantry.  It is irresistible.  If you have the time during the end of summer tomato glutton, I highly recommend a Saturday morning devoted to tomato jam.  I promise you won’t be sorry.

 

Gather heirloom tomatoes for making preserves

 

Gathering as many different kinds of heirloom tomatoes as you can find (think late summer farmer’s market) is a big part of the amazing experience of tomato jam.  At the end of the summer, those long awaited heirlooms are finally pouring in. They tend to be meaty and sweetly acidic and perfect for this Southern ketchup-esque condiment. My local farmer Irma has a u-pick from now until frost and the tomatoes are beautiful.  I am still bringing a few in from my little garden but not enough to preserve, so I am grateful to Irma.

 

late-summer-tomatoes2

 

Combined with curry-like seasonings, the added acidity of fresh lime juice, fresh ginger and the jalapeno pepper, this sweet-hot sauce is redolent of NOTHING.  Period. There is nothing else like it.

 

Tomato Jam added ingredients - ginger, lime, jalapeno

 

This is a great recipe for “small-batch” preserving.  I think I came up with 5 jars. I’ll have to make it again because it is already going fast.

It is a simple process. Chop the tomatoes and gather the other ingredients and combine in a heavy bottomed saucepan to simmer and break down and turn to jam.  Natural pectin takes care of the congealing as it gently bubbles on the stovetop.

You will know it is done when it begins to change color to a deep crimson. It’s glorious.  And the fragrance is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

 

preserving tomatoes at the end of the summer.

 

I hope I have time to make another batch or two, because I cannot imagine a more beautiful holiday gift or hostess gift.

 

tomato jam-6233-2015

 

I have used my tomato jam this season to make the most delicious pizza ever.  I made simple crostini with goat cheese topped with tomato jam. It was recently the sauce for a delicious grilled pork tenderloin that I served with a warm lentil salad.  I will be posting these dishes soon so you can share the recipes and ideas.  I know you’re going to love tomato jam as much as I do.

My sourdough adventures have been sooo much delicious fun.  Very rewarding.  The pizza below is sourdough crust, tomato jam, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions topped with arugula and grated parm out of the oven. May be the best pizza ever.

 

pizza-tomatojam-6348-2015

 

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End of Summer Tomato Jam
 
Tomato Jam is a super-easy, yet indulgent way to preserve the summer's bounty.
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare all ingredients and combine in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Simmer for 1 - 1½ hours until mixture thickens.
  2. Spoon the thickened jam into canning jars and either store in the refrigerator or follow safe canning procedures to process.
Notes
Tomato Jam is a great way to preserve the summer's bounty and is perfect for small batch preserving techniques. This super easy and delicious condiment will put an exclamation point on any dish. Great as a pizza topping or on grilled meats and fish and many other uses. Recipe based on one by Mark Bittman/ NY Times.

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