I’ve been reading about Tomato Jam in all my favorite Southern foodie magazines so I finally decided to bust out my canning supplies and do this before all the good late-summer tomatoes are gone.
It’s really important to use quality tomatoes in this recipe. Hot house tomatoes will result in something that looks like tomato jam, but tastes like spices.
I was able to get some nice tangy tomatoes from Farmer’s Market. I asked my local tomato hawker (& farmer) which variety he thought was best for Tomato Jam and he got pretty excited as he had never had it, but now wanted to try it. I guess I need to bring him some now. I told him I needed the very best Tomato-y flavor ones and he directed me to a variety that he uses for sauce. How lucky to be able to buy direct, and I was rewarded with a flavoful tomato spread that packs a punch!
The recipe is below. If giving these as gifts, make sure to let people know what it’s good with.
I printed out a little paper that said:
Spicy Organic Tomato Jam
Serve as a spread with chèvre/ goat cheese.
Also very good with grilled pork, grilled salmon,
chicken, burgers, BLTs and turkey sandwiches.
*Now that I have a jar open, I would also add that it’s amazing on toast with a poached egg on top.
Makes 5-6 8oz jars depending on how big your tomatoes are.
- 3 large lemons
- 4- 5 pounds nice red tangy tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2.5 cups light brown sugar packed
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 15 1/8 -inch-thick slices peeled ginger
- 2 tablespoons of fruit pectin (tomatoes HAVE pectin in them, however I have reduced the sugar in my recipe and I didn’t want a runny jam)
Clean and core your tomatoes and chop into 1 inch chunks. Place tomatoes into pot.
Zest from the lemons and add to pot. Squeeze the lemon juice through a strainer and add to pot.
Add sugar, spices, salt, the red pepper flakes and ginger. Once bubbling hot, add the pectin and stir in well.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are dark and thickened. 40 to 50 minutes. Reduce the heat if the mixture starts to scorch.
Meanwhile, sterilize six 8-ounce canning jars and lids. Fill the jars with the tomato mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, then seal and process in a water bath for 10 additional minutes.