Friday, August 29, 2014

heirloom tomato jam.

Last week when apricot jam was discussed, my mindset was I was done with jam for the season (4 jams in 4 months seemed like more than enough).  

I was wrong to think such a thing. Oh so wrong.  

In the span of 3 days I somehow ended up with over 6 pounds of tomatoes.  Considering tomatoes have such a short shelf life and there are only 2 of us I knew I needed to find a tomato option that would use up about half of these guys and quickly.  

This is how I fell down the hole of tomato jam land.  

Tomato jam is really a fancy name for a thick rustic ketchup-like condiment.  Some recipes take the jam concept very seriously by adding something in the realm of 2 CUPS OF SUGAR to 3 POUNDS OF TOMATOES which is insane to me (though I will admit the sugar is somewhat necessary if you want to preserve the jam).  I was aching for a savory jam.  The kind of thing that begs to be served on a toasted baguette with a poached egg and avocado.  The kind of thing you can spread on grilled cheese or a BLT or even on a veggie burger.  I wanted the juxtaposition of savory and sweet with a kick of heat and a tang of acidity.  

Somehow I ended up making exactly what I was craving (don't you love when that happens?).  This jam has been consumed by the spoonful.  It's been slathered on bread and eaten with hardboiled egg.  Its been served on toast with a dollop of ricotta.  It's the perfect thing for this weird in-between season time of year and it somehow works with just about anything and everything.  

Heirloom Tomato Jam
Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

3 pounds red heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Hull and cut the tomatoes into a rough dice. If you’re using heirloom tomatoes, be sure to cut off any tough, brown spots that might be on their skin. Transfer the chopped tomatoes to a non-reactive medium pot, along with the brown sugar, salt and red wine vinegar. Place the uncovered pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer; cook for 30 minutes. At the 30 minute-mark add the dried thyme and mix. Cook for an additional 25 to 30 more minutes and until the mixture is thick. If you’re using more or less tomatoes, the cook time will definitely vary.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. Tomato jam will be good for two weeks without canning.

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