Talk about persistent, and maybe a bit coy, tomato jam came on slow for me. Before it began to whisper my name, I’d see it here and there, maybe on Pinterest, sometimes on Facebook and I think it even showed up now and again on our weekly Throwback Thursday link party.
At first I just ignored it. I mean, really, tomato jam? How good could that be? Then when it shyly peeped at me, I found myself glancing back. It was such a flirt, this tomato jam; I had to know more. I started asking around about him, looking at other blogs & recipe sites. Rather than a sweet jam, it turns out tomato jam is kind of like a relish or condiment.
Beautifully red, almost jewel like, this concoction shares some elements of a chutney or a chili sauce and was, I was sure, related to Ketchup. Just a bit of a fancy pants snob, he denied that last part. Ketchup? But you understand, he didn’t want to be associated with anything so commonplace as ketchup, and rightfully so.
And of course, like any big flirt, tomato jam can be a little bit of a chameleon. It can be a little bit “saucy” and with just a hint of “spicy” like this recipe, or can be changed up a bit. You can coax out the personality you love by varying the spices and heat level to your taste. He’ll readily adapt.
Serve tomato jam on sandwiches or burgers, in grilled cheese, as a dipping sauce. Or maybe you’d like to go high-end and add tomato jam to a cheese platter or just dollop a bit onto some lovely crackers schmeared with goat or cream cheese. How pretty would this be, dare I say it, for the Holiday season?
Spicy Tomato Jam
- 3 full pounds tomatoes, after skinning & trimming
- 1 to 2 habanero peppers
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper’
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- scant 1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 1 lime, quartered and very thinly sliced
To loosen the skins and peel the tomatoes: heat a gallon of water to boiling. Make a thin shallow “x” on the bottom of each tomato, add to boiling water for about a minute and then remove. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels and set aside.
Working over a colander over to catch the seeds and juices, roughly chop the tomatoes into 1/2 to 1″ chunks, de seeding the majority as you work. Add the tomatoes and any juices to a large, heavy bottomed, non reactive pan. Mince and de seed Habanero and add to pan with tomatoes. Add in the rest of the ingredients, reserving the lime slices for later.
Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down to a heavy simmer and allow to reduce, stirring regularly, to about half, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the lime and cook another 15 minutes. Process this recipe for five minutes.
To can, I am going to defer to the expert’s, the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s PDF. The url is :
Note: Don’t mess with the amount of tomatoes, sugar and acid (vinegar & lime in this case) in a canning recipe like this, though, unless you really know what you’re doing or have a testing kit. The Ph balance is ever so important to prevent spoilage. If you don’t wish to go through the canning process, Tomato Jam can be frozen.