Tomato Jam

Pounds and bushels of tomatoes from the garden notwithstanding, I have irrationally resisted making this tomato jam for no other reason than my imagination would not allow me to trust the “jam” part of the recipe.  Fortunately, I did allow my imagination to trust Mr. Bittman when he described it as his new favorite thing.  I’m not exactly proud to be admitting publicly here to my lack of imagination, but in my defense, I did in the end make myself some tomato jam

And boy howdy, are we ever glad I did.  Tomato jam is now our new favorite obsession and I am completely remorseful by how long it took me to bust out and get it made.  

Tomato jam is pretty cinchy to make, but will mostly take a bit of time.  One just has to dump all of the ingredients into a saucepan and let it cook down for about an hour and 15 minutes. 

It will slowly and miraculously turn into jam.

Sweet, tangy, spicy and tomato-y!  And a big bonus here is that as it cooks down, it perfumes your kitchen (and most of the house) with the most intoxicating aromas.  I would almost make it again just for that.

But you must make it because tomato jam is really, really good. 

I served it on crostini topped with goat cheese and that was awesome.  I’m making biscuits this weekend solely for the purpose of sitting them under a giant dollop of tomato jam.   Here’s the recipe…

Tomato Jam

Click here for a printable recipe

From Mark Bittman

The recipe says to boil the tomato mixture down for an hour and 15 minutes, but it took mine closer to an hour and a half.  That might have been because my tomatoes were really juicy, but judge for yourself and cook this until it's as thick as you would like it to be.  It's sometimes taken a full 2 hours for it to thicken completely.  Also, I did not add the ginger, but put it in if you're so inclined.  And don't skimp on the spice!  I used 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes and it was perfect. Add more if you think you'd like it spicier.

1 1/2 pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.

1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.

2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes (or longer). Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.

Makes about 1 pint