Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

 I finally gathered enough tomatoes from the garden to can my first batch of tomato jam! Heirloom Cherokee Purples, Box Car Willies and Romas. I'm still getting tomatoes at the end of November! We had a late summer heat wave so my tomato plants had a very late start.
 I blanched the tomatoes in boiling water until the skin split and then stopped the cooking with ice water. I peeled the skins off and then crushed them with a sturdy pastry blender.
 Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

5 pounds tomatoes, peeled and crushed
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring often, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This may take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat. To check if it has jammed enough, simply place a plate in the freezer for 10 minutes then pour a teaspoon or so on the cold plate.  The jam should gel quickly once hitting the cold plate.
When the jam has cooked down, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
Remove jars from hot water bath and allow them to cool when finished.

I enjoyed my first taste of tomato jam on a gluten free biscuit. I bet it would taste delicious on meatloaf or a cheese burger! Think of it as fancy catchup.


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