Tomato season is here! Save some of those lovely heirloom tomatoes, and make yourself a batch of tomato jam.
A friend pointed me to Mark Bittman’s tomato jam recipe, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. We’ve been getting beautiful tomatoes from Vegetable Husband, and Margie, the owner, was even kind enough to spare me a few extras last week, since my sister was in town. When those beautiful heirlooms landed on my doorstep, it was ON.
Normally, I’d have sliced those beauties up and eaten tomato sandwiches for a week, but this time I decided to go a different route. I made a few changes to Bittman’s recipe to accommodate the ingredients we had on hand. It turned out beautifully!
Clean Up Tip: Once you’ve spooned your jam into its jar, fill the pan with water immediately, and wash it as soon as it’s cool enough to handle. The longer you wait, the more scrubbing it will take to get all of that sticky leftover jam off of the pan.
adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe
Yield: a scant pint of jam; about 14 servings of 1 tablespoon each
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped (Should be about 3 cups of chopped tomatoes.)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 dashes of allspice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cowhorn peppers, minced (discard the seeds, if you prefer less heat. One small jalapeno would also work, if you can’t find cowhorns.)
- In large frying pan on high heat, combine all of your ingredients.
- Once your mixture begings to bubble, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until your jam thickens. As you stir, you can use the back of the spoon so squish any pieces of tomato that look too big. You may as well, since you’ll be standing there for a while.
- Bittman says to cook for about an hour and 15 minutes, but in a shallow pan on higher heat, this will go more quickly. Ours came together in about 30-35 minutes. Your tomato jam is ready when it can pass the spoon test: a spoon dragged across the pan leaves a distinct, wide line, and the jam doesn’t immediately fill in the space.
- Lightly cover your jar until it’s cool to the touch, then tighten the lid and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Making and Eating Tomato Jam
Special thank you to my little sister for helping with the jam making! There’s a lot of stirring involved, and it was nice to be able to take turns minding the pot.
This was my first time making jam, and now that I know how easy it is, I want to make everything into jam! Basically, you chop everything up, dump it in the pot, and simmer for an hour or so. The trick I learned this go-round was to stir constantly once the jam starts to really thicken up, or it will stick to the sides and bottom of the pan. You don’t want to lose all of that jammy goodness!
I used it for the first time on a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich, and it was mind-blowing. The sandwich was super simple:
- whole grain bun
- grilled mushroom cap
- tomato jam
Some friends came by on Tuesday, and we ate some more with crackers and Tofutti cream cheese. YUM!
Do you guys have any other ideas on how to serve tomato jam?
More Jam Adventures!
I picked up what I’m told was the last bag of peaches for the season at the Decatur Farmer’s Market last weekend, and I might try my hand at making some kind of peach and basil jam. Or maybe peach and pineapple sage? What do you guys think would be more fun? This is also assuming that I can refrain from devouring all of the peaches as-is…
The word is that our CSA basket might include figs sometime soon, and I just may try making jam out of that. Maybe with a little bit of ginger for good measure.
Have you guys done any jam-making? I’d love to hear what’s cooking!