I’ve been interested in making tomato jam for a while now and I recently overcame my inertia and actually looked for a recipe. I found one in the Food In Jars blog and it intrigued me, but looked awfully sweet and hot so I rejiggered it and I must say, it turned out great. It is a wonderful condiment for chicken, fish and pork and a great substitute for catsup on your oven fried potatoes. It’s a little sweet and pretty spicy yet not burning hot, with the exotic flavors of cinnamon and cloves. Please use good home grown tomatoes or tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Tomatoes like Romas or my homegrown San Marzanos are meaty and best for jam and sauces. Don’t use juicy tomatoes, they will take longer to cook down.
Yield: about 5 cups
5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped (I pulsed them in my food processor)
2 cups organic sugar
½ cup lime juice, about 6 ½ limes
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to just a simmer. Stir occasionally until it is greatly reduced and thick. This took me 2 to 2 ½ hours.
When jam has cooked down, fill canning jars that have been washed in hot soapy water and boiled for a few minutes. Leave ¼ inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. I use a steam canner.
When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a rack or a kitchen towel. Listen for the happy “pop” of sealing lids. Make sure all lids are sucked down in the sealed position and store in a cool dark place.