Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 12: Tomato Jam

Post-Irene, and no damage to report from home, save for some tree branches down. I'll find out at Friday's CSA pickup how the farm and its orchards fared.

Meanwhile, I'm still enraptured by the tomatoes. This week, with both farm tomatoes and home-grown ones to contend with, I was ready to cook tomatoes en masse. That led to a batch of fresh tomato sauce and a couple of pints of tomato jam.

It's hard to describe the jam: It's sweet with an underlying note of vinegar, vaguely reminiscent of a chutney. We slathered some on turkey burgers and we are brainstorming ideas for other uses. If you plan to break out the grill before summer's end, this jam would be an uncommon condiment for barbecued meat. I can imagine it spread on grilled cheese sandwiches or used as a dipping sauce for vegetarian egg rolls.

Jennifer Perillo's Sweet and Savory Tomato Jam 
(Adapted, with only one change, from this recipe posted on food52. Instructions are my own wording. Yield: 1.5 pints.)

3.5 pounds fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (no need to peel the tomatoes)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1.5 cups granulated white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime (Original recipe calls for a lemon, but I didn't have one on hand; see note regarding canning, below)

Place all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. (The recipe calls for a 2-quart pot; I found that I needed a 3.5-quart pot to hold the volume of chopped tomatoes.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture thickens to the consistency of jam, about 3 hours. Transfer the jam to sterilized glass jars, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. The jam will keep at least two weeks.

Note: Per the original recipe, the jam can be processed in a boiling-water bath for long-term storage. However, canning tomato products requires careful attention to the acidity level. Read up on the process before making any ingredient changes to ensure safe canning.

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