Tomato jam will change your life.
Ok, this is a little dramatic, but for me every once in a while I begin to start ordering out, buying frozen foods and giving up a little in the kitchen. Even folks who love cooking get sick of having to make dinner every day and I start to call it in, literally. I am a person who craves change, moving forward, and learning new things, so to push myself out of these ruts it takes a new recipe that is exciting and makes me think “hmm, I never knew that existed!” when I taste or read about it for the first time. Tomato jam did just this and got me back in the kitchen and although I am not one to toot my own cooking horn I must say it is one of the tastiest things I have ever made.
I first tasted tomato jam at Scaddabush in Toronto, alongside mozzarella I filmed being made like a true tourist, sea salt, and focaccia crostini. It was surprisingly sweet yet tart with deep, caramelized flavours very different from even a slow long simmering of tomato sauce. Yesterday I made mozzarella for the first time (I didn’t even cheat and do it from fresh curds like those sneaky Scaddabushers) and it was good alone but lip smackingly tasty with this tomato jam. The jam actually took much longer to make than the cheese, but effort wise there is no comparison. Basically you just throw this in a pot, simmer it for at least an hour until it is a sticky beauteous concoction and try not to eat it all before you jar it up.
*If you look around at tomato jam recipes, there are many variations but none seem to note that the amount of sugar you use needs to vary based on the natural sweetness of your tomatoes. I bought the best tomatoes I have ever tasted this week at market, little golden heirloom cherry tomatoes which are amazingly sweet. They did not need much sugar, but almost any other variety would need a few teaspoons more.
This recipe makes 1 jar so I suggest you double it if you intend on sharing. However a little goes a lonnnng way. In addition to a Scaddabush copycat board that will save you $15 and impress the socks of guests. In addition to eating it by the spoonful, ideas for using up your jam include:
- on any kind of meat really (grilled chicken, pork chops)
- on hamburgers and hot dogs
- as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese or deep fried grilled cheese
- as a baste for a pork roast
- with grilled peaches on crustoni with some fresh ricotta or burrata
- on fresh bread with cream cheese
- atop baked brie with some nuts
- stirred into pasta with pesto or balsamic to give it a more savory note
- atop mac and cheese
- on an antipasto platter
- on eggs
- on anything you would put chili sauce on
- in a mini jam/honey jar with some fresh cheese and bread as a lovely gift
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, diced, or 4 medium tomatoes, quartered, or equivalent (try to find heirloom!)
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (you could also use white balsamic or white wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons of sugar (more if your tomatoes are not very sweet)
sprinkle of sea salt
pinch of chopped fresh rosemary
dash of allspice
dash of ground ginger
Add together in pot and simmer on low for 1-2 hours or until thick and jam-like. Taste and stir regularly to see if you need a little more sugar (or vinegar if you add to much sugar. It should be on the sweet side with a touch of tang.