Decided to do something completely unconventional with my 3 pounds of tomatoes. Like many folks, we are burnt out on fresh tomato sauce, bruschetta, and tomato salads by this time of the year. So I decided to to give this intriguing recipe for Sweet Tomato Jam posted on the NY Times a whirl.
I was skeptical, but it is a good one. Melissa Clark does not disappoint. The refrigerator jam is super sweet and savory simultaneously. Beautiful color, and really easy to prepare once you put some elbow grease into chopping up 3 pounds of tomatoes. I made a few modifications, like using less honey than the recipe called for simply because I ran out, and vanilla extract because I didn’t have any vanilla beans on hand. I also added a few dried red chili peppers to add some heat to balance the sweetness. I’ve included my version below. Of course, I have no idea how we will consume all this scrumptious jam…rather, I fear I will consume it all on my own.
3 pounds firm ripe tomatoes, cored and diced (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vanilla
2-3 dried red chili peppers (optional)
Pinch fine sea salt
Combine all ingredients in large stainless steel pot, or other non-reactive material. Bring to simmer and let cook for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until jammy consistency reached.
Taste and add additional salt if needed to balance flavor. Spoon into glass jars and let cool before refrigerating.
Yield: 3 half-pint jars
For canning instructions, see NY Times recipe