Well, this is the first year that I’ve almost run out of ways to use tomatoes. Are you in the same boat? Regardless of the way the plants/leaves look, most of us have had a bumper crop.
I’ve preserved more tomatoes this year than I ever have in the past.
From freezing tomatoes (I have a vacuum sealer now and just love it), both cherry and regular without blanching, to roasting with and without seasoning, to making pasta sauces, and finally, to making tomato jam. Apparently you’ve been blessed with lots of tomatoes, too, so I guess that’s why the requests for this very popular tomato jam have been coming in.
This year, though, I wound up making the jam a bit different. Instead of stovetop and slow cooker, I roasted the jam in the oven. I didn’t have to fuss with it too much. Winner, winner!
The great thing about this jam is you need really ripe tomatoes and any kind will do. This is where cracked, slightly bruised or “not perfect” tomatoes come in. Cut out the bad parts and you’re good to go.
Here’s my updated recipe for tomato jam.
Roasted spicy tomato jam
Different from tomato preserves, this is a sticky, sweet/hot/spicy jam perfect for spooning over soft cheese, mixed into mayo for a sandwich, or dolloped on shakshuka, scrambled eggs or omelets. Oh, and it’s nice in a tiny bowl on a charcuterie platter. And need I say it’s a perfect gourmet gift?
I used all kinds of garden tomatoes. Any kind, as long as it’s real ripe, will do.
Yield: About 6 cups
5 pounds really ripe tomatoes, cored but not peeled, cut up very small
3 cups sugar or to taste
1/2 cup lemon juice (can use half lime and lemon)
1 generous tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste or more to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste, or mashed chipotle peppers in adobo to taste (go easy here at first)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (optional but good)
Mix everything together well.
Preheat oven to 350.
Pour into sprayed shallow baking pan. You can use one large roaster or a couple or so of 9×13’s.
Roast, uncovered, stirring about every 30 minutes to redistribute juices as they reduce. Keep roasting and checking until the jam starts to jell and looks real sticky. This took about 2 or so hours in my oven. It may take less or longer in yours depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes and the pan size.
Test by spooning a little on a plate. Let cool a bit and run your finger through it. It should hold a path.
Remove, let cool and adjust seasonings.
Place into containers and cover. Refrigerate up to 6 months or so.
For a pantry stable jam, pour into sterilized jars and process in boiling water bath.
Boiling Water Bath: Process jars 20 minutes in boiling water bath. Let cool at room temperature. You’ll hear a “ping” when jars seal as they cool. Any that don’t seal should be stored in the refrigerator.