Emily Cooks the Web: Savory Tomato Jam

There ain’t nothing better in life than true love and a homegrown tomato.

tomatojam1small— Old Saying

Tomato season is coming to a sad, sad end.

I know I’ve written about this summer’s plethora of tomatoes before, but even with my adoration for tomatoes, I just couldn’t eat them fast enough. I started searching Pinterest (my handy-dandy tool for those “What the heck can I make with this?” moments) and found amazing recipes for tomato jam.

I received 30 pounds of fresh, organic, locally grown peche tomatoes from a friend. They were each so different and beautiful; some were a light yellow and sun-kissed, others had a light blush color to them, like a peach.

Tomato jam is perfect for many treats: Slather on freshly baked chicken or pork for a tangy finish. Dollop on top of goat cheese and serve with crackers. Mix with cream cheese and heat up for a delicious baguette spread. Oh! Or what about mixed into a Bloody Mary? (Cue drooling)

I just started canning, so I canned 12 jars of this jam. I traded a few jars at a food swap with the Lancaster Preservation Society. I leave you with a few of my favorite tomato jam recipes.

tomatojam2smallGolden Cherry Tomato Ginger Jam
(Makes about 3 half-pint jars)

1. Wash and slice in half, reserving the juice:
     2 pounds yellow or orange cherry or plum tomatoes

2. If using plum tomatoes, quarter them. Either way, combine in a bowl with:
     2 cups sugar

3. Steep for 4 hours at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

4. Peel and slice into thin strips:
     4 ounces fresh ginger, washed

5. Place the steeped tomatoes and ginger in a large saucepan along with:
     5 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

6. Slowly bring the syrup to a boil, then boil rapidly until it thickens visibly and falls from a spoon in heavy drops (I call this a “bat wing”–instead of dripping from the spoon in a thin stream, the jam will start to fall from the spoon in sheets as it thickens). For this jam, I recommend boiling it until it is as thick as you want it rather than going by temperature alone. It should be syrupy and reduced considerably. If you like, put a few plates in the freezer and drop a small spoonful of jam on a cold plate. If the jam is still runny after sitting on the plate for a minute, keep boiling. If the jam sets up to your liking, you’re done.

7. Ladle the jam into hot half pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Place in your water bath, bring the water to a boil, and process for 10 minutes after the water has come to a boil. Remove from the water bath and let cool completely. You should hear little popping sounds as the jars seal. If, after 24 hours, all the jars have not sealed, you can re-process the unsealed jars or just place them in the refrigerator.


 

Sweet and Tangy Tomato Jam
(Makes 1.5 pints of jam)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3½ pounds tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a dutch oven. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until mixture is thickened like jam, almost 3 hours. You can proceed to can the jam in a hot water bath at this point or simply divide the jam and store in the fridge for a few weeks.