- Michele Spence
Summer Tomato Jam
As many gardeners know, you go from anxiously awaiting that first summer tomato to having them coming out of your ears in about two seconds flat. I don't mind sharing a few tomatoes with my awesome friends and neighbors, but a lot of hard work goes into a successful garden and the point of having and nurturing one is the hope that you get to enjoy a bountiful harvest.
With all of the rain we've been having this summer, my tomatoes have gone bonkers!
A few years ago my sister-in-law sent me a small jar of homemade tomato jam. In my head, I was thinking tomato jam? Blech... I held onto the jar for a few years and found it in the pantry last fall and decided what the heck, I'd try it. HOLY COW! What a taste delight as the flavor profile rolled across my tongue, I was an instant tomato jam fan! In fact, that was one of the reasons I decided to plant 12 tomato plants this year, I wanted to be able to enjoy a fresh, organically grown tomatoes and have enough to make some jam with.
I gathered enough tomatoes (three days worth) and set out to find a tomato jam recipe that I could call my own. They were all pretty similar, but I can't follow a recipe without changing it up, this is what I came up with, and it's absolutely delicious, you'll have to take my word for it because I'm not sharing one jar of my latest creation, LOL!
Anyway, here's the recipe:
3 pounds of the best quality tomatoes, cored and chopped
3 jalapenos chopped (remove the seeds if you want less spice/heat)
1 large Vidalia Onion diced
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 bunch of basil cut chiffonade,leaves/stems (I just snipped a bunch outside don't know exact amt)
1 1/2 Cups of organic sugar
1/4 Cup of fresh lime juice and some of the zest
1 TBLS freshly grated ginger
1 tsp red chili flakes (use less or omit if you want less spice/heat)
1 tsp salt
1 - 2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin
2 TBLS liquid pectin, (optional) I didn't use it, I let it cook down naturally.
Prepare veggies as noted above and throw them all in the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours or until it thickens up in to a jam like consistency. Make sure to stir it periodically. If you're using the pectin, don't add it till the very last just when you're ready to call it done. At that point, you'll stir in the pectin and simmer for one minute more.
At this point you can put it in a container in the fridge, I'd use it within two weeks. Otherwise, you can hot water bath process it for 25 minutes into steralized canning jars, it'll keep for up to a year or more.