Monday, November 1, 2010

Tomato Jam

My first experience with tomato jam I was not exactly sure what to expect, sometimes the name alone will set off these preconceived notions that end up being totally wrong. It looked like tomato ketchup only thicker, like strawberry preserves but it exhibited this wonderful aroma of the warm cookie spices; cinnamon, allspice with a slight hint of clove. The first taste was like nothing ever tasted and was not at all what I was expecting. Sweet,spicy the tomato had magically transformed itself. Then a little surprise, in some back heat that I immediately recognized as chipotle pepper completing the warmth of the other spices. The first thought was "pass the biscuits and look away as this could get ugly!" I was hooked. 
It is at home on a biscuit in the morning or as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or glazing a rack of ribs. It is some really tasty stuff that is so easy to make. Enjoy!

 Prep time: 20 min              cook time: about 1 hour            Yield: 4 1/2 pints


5 lb tomatoes seeded
*I prefer Roma 
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice( bottled)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspiece
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp Chipotle pepper powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt.

Tools: heavy bottom 10" deep skiillet (non reactive), water bath caner( or a 2 gal stock pot) 4 1/2 pint mason jars with new lids and rings, potato masher. Recommended; jar tongs, magnetic lid lifter, jar funnel.


Inspect the jars for chips and cracks, paying close attention to the sealing area at the top of the rim. Place the jars lids rings in the caner and fill with enough water to cover the top of the jars by 2" and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 min to sterilize.Place a tea spoon in the freezer.

Wash and inspect the tomatoes remove any bad spots and the stem cut into quarters remove the seeds then cut the quarters in 1/2 again and place into the skillet once all of the tomatoes are in the pan add all remaining ingredients cook over med heat.
When the tomatoes have softened crush them with the potato masher and continue to cook to reduce the liquid until it is thick.
To test the jam for proper consistency remove a little from the pot and drop on the frozen tea spoon if it clings to the spoon like jam or preserves turn off the heat.
Using the jar tongs remove a jar place the funnel in the jar and ladle the hot jam into the jars filling them to within 1/4 " of the top. Place a lid on the jar followed by a ring tighten only finger tight. bring the caner to a boil and place the jars on the rack process at a rolling boil 10 min. Remove the jars from the caner and place on clean towels to cool.
Test the seal on all jars by pushing in the center of the lid if it moves place the jar in the refrigerator  use within 10 days( if it lasts that long ) remove the rings date and label the jars store on a pantry shelf or in a cabinet away from heat use with in 6 months.

1 comment:

  1. Craig, I grew up eating tomato preserves. Another good one you might like is tomato gravy. So save some of those biscuits and give it a try. Bill