This falls under the category of “You Must Make This Now.” I was looking for ways to use up a bunch of CSA tomatoes, and came across a couple of tomato jam recipes. Then I remembered that when Tom and I first started dating, he had a jar of tomato jam made from his great-aunt’s recipe that he loved putting on toast. That recipe, unfortunately, involves things like pectin and canning. But I was intrigued by the idea.
The recipes I found online just weren’t quite right. Mark Bittman has a (rightfully) popular tomato jam recipe out there, but the flavors seemed a little too Southwestern for my taste. There are quite a few more, but they all seemed like variations on the same theme. Tomatoes, sugar, spices, a little acid. Simple, right?
Actually, it was pretty simple! Once I decided on the combination of flavors I wanted, making this stuff was a piece of cake. Just chopping, throwing everything into a pot, and stirring occasionally while simmering. Tom and I had grilled cheese sandwiches last night (yes, with real cheese. Guilty. We had them after Sweet Pea went to bed.) with this tomato jam, and they were awesome. I served mine open-faced with a fried egg on top, and it was delicious. Even you don’t like ketchup, give tomato jam a try! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Recipe Note: I’d like to try this with a little less sugar sometime. If you test it out, let me know how it goes!
Tomato Jalapeno Jam
3 large tomatoes, cored and diced
1/2 c. diced onion
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (may remove seeds for less heat)
Zest and juice of one lemon
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh basil
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbling, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for an hour or two. The tomatoes will give off a lot of liquid, then it will all evaporate and you’ll be left with a thick chutney-like jam. Cook until the jam is your preferred consistency. I let mine go for the full two hours, because I like it thick. Makes a little over one cup of jam. You could can this, or it should keep in the fridge for up to a week.