Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tomato Jam

Tomatoes are fruits, so making jam out of them shouldn't be too far out of the range of comprehension. I was going to do ketchup, but I didn't want to peel a zillion cherry tomatoes.  The lovely part about this recipe from Food in Jars is that you leave the skin on for both texture and flavor.

This is the honey version of the recipe.  She also has one that uses sugar.  I have had an unopened 3 lb container of honey in the pantry since my mom died.  I haven't been holding onto it for sentimental reasons.  I just knew that, once it was opened, I would have to use it within a few months.  I may have enough ideas saved up to finish it by the end of the year, as we're getting close to baking season.  There will be many middle-eastern sweets in the near future.

I only had half a pound of tomatoes saved up, so this is not even a small batch.  It's a micro batch.  I got half a cup of the jam, but I got to use the 1/8 tsp spoon from my measuring set.  I knew I kept that thing for a reason.  For sanity's sake, I'm going to post the one-pound version here, giving you enough to use as a garnish or dip for several servings.

I'm not a fan of red chili flakes, aside from the faintest trace of them on pizza that I end up regretting later.  Instead, I'm opting for a combination of paprika and cumin to bring in the savory tones.  Also diverging from Marisa's recipe, I did mine in a 10" teflon skillet and stirred with a wooden spoon, since I was not planning to process and can.  It cooked up in a mere half hour, probably 45 minutes for the full pound version.

Other uses besides spreading on bread with brie are diverse.  It can be a finishing touch to any poultry, or on pork chops.  Use it instead of ketchup on burgers.  Leave it out with other dips at a party.  If you're into cheese molds, you can use it as the center layer in a molded wheel of goat cheese.  Dolloped onto a spinach salad instead of dressing sounds good.  Actually, it would go well with any leafy green, cooked or not.

*1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped (Roma would be a good choice)
* 1/2 C honey
*2 Tb bottled lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
*1/4 tsp each ground ginger, paprika, and cumin
*dash each cinnamon and cloves

1.  Finely chop tomatoes and add to a 10" non-reactive skillet with the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until it reduces to a gooey, sticky glob, 45 minutes to an hour.  Stir frequently to avoid scorching, and almost constantly near the end.
2.  This jam is not going to set up much thicker when it cools, so make sure it's how you want it without going too far and burning the honey or tomatoes.  Transfer to serving container and chill below room temperature before serving.  (Or you can do the whole canning thing, but it's hardly worth it for such a small amount.)

Makes about 1 cup

Difficulty rating  π

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