‘Tis the end of the tomato season, and as we’ve already canned salsa and marinara, it’s time to think about what to do with those last tomatoes . . . and think about how a nice savory tomato jam would taste on a hot buttered english muffin while the wind blows the leaves from the trees and the frost nips the grass tips . . .
There are lots of different recipes for tomato jam, from sweet to savory, and infused with unique spice combos. The one I like the best is less sweet, and spicy with a light ginger/pepper kick.
1. Chop 5-6 pounds of tomatoes and finely dice 2 cups of apples (remove cores, stems and peel) and put in a large pot.
2/3 cup vinegar (or lime juice)
1 1/2 cups sugar (if you really like it sweeter, go ahead and add another 1/2 cup, but not a bit more!)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tablespoons salt
1-2 teaspoons (2 tsp if you like it spicy!!!) ground red pepper or red pepper flakes
3. Simmer, simmer, simmer . . .
4. Cook down, simmering, until a third to half the volume has simmered away or until mixture thickens to jamlike consistency. This may take 1 – 2 hours. Continue to stir, and lower heat to prevent scorching.
5. Process in half pints for 20 minutes at sea level, 25 minutes at 5000 feet.
This batch makes 7-8 half pints. Originally I made this in a double size batch, but I recommend against it. It just takes too long to simmer down. If you’re getting impatient and your jam still is not thick enough, you could add commercial pectin . . . just a thought . . . Use this like ketchup on burgers, or as a chutney over brown rice or with grilled meats, or spread like jam on hot toast, bagels, etc.