Sweet Tomato Jam
When they told us at The Farm Cooking School that we'd be pairing tomatoes with ice cream, I was skeptical. Those are two things I never imagined would taste good together. Boy, was I wrong. If you're looking at the picture above and thinking, "No way...I don't do canning, so I guess I can't make this recipe," stop! You can (no pun intended). I canned it in a hot water bath to keep it for longer, but you could easily refrigerate this and use it. It should be good for a couple of months in the fridge. Just make enough to use rather than enough to store for the winter.
This is Ian Knauer's recipe from his cookbook, The Farm, introduced to me during a Tomatofest Gardening & Cooking Workshop at The Farm Cooking School. I highly recommend trying out one of their classes or helping out in the garden if you are not far from Stockton, NJ.
This jam has fantastic autumnal spices, so it's the perfect treat as the weather cools. Pair it with ice cream or wrap it in pastry dough for a baked sweet treat. I plan to try it with a warm slice of gingerbread. Mmmm.... And, here's the kicker - this is incredibly easy to make -- you're basically doing very minimal prep and just letting the pot boil and simmer. I even forgot to put the sugar in until I was almost done cooking the whole thing....so, you can even screw it up a little along the way and recover nicely. I need more recipes like that.
Ian Knauer, The Farm
Yield (Recipe said it makes about 3 pints, but I only got 1 1/2 pints)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (I used Constoluto Genovese, but you can use any kind)
1 navel orange
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Score an X on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife and cut out cores. Plunge the tomatoes, a few at a time, into large pot of boiling water until the skin from the X curls back, 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Peel the tomatoes and cut into large chunks.
- Quarter the orange, discarding any seeds, then slice the quarters (including rind) as thin as possible with a sharp knife.
- Bring the tomatoes, orange slices, sugar, vanilla bean, vinegar, spices, and salt to a boil in a large heavy pot. Boil the jam, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours.
- To test the jam for doneness, drop a teaspoonful on a chilled plate and chill for 1 minute. Tilt the plate: the jam should remain in a mound and not run. If the jam runs, continue cooking it at a slow boil, testing every 5 minutes. Cool the jam completely.
- Divide the jam among 3 sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the tops. Cap the jars and process in boiling water for 15 minutes. Let the jars cool at room temperature until they seal. They will keep for at least a year in a cool, dry, dark place. (If you are not canning the jam, but refrigerating it, store it in a mason jar or other container with an airtight lid and enjoy for several months.)