Tomato Jam is an aphrodisiac in a jar
Tomato season is a a wonderful time for lovers of this aphrodisiac. But for those of us who can’t get enough of peak-of-season tomatoes, this time of year is all too short. And that is exactly why we need Tomato Jam.
Members of the nightshade family, tomatoes were once considered poisonous. But once the myth was dispelled, lovers the world over developed a lust for this plump fruit. Unfortunately, tomatoes are among the fruits that must be enjoyed in season. Heirloom tomatoes ship poorly. Those fruits found in winter and spring have been bred not to bruise and usually offer flesh the consistency of cardboard. That’s why Anne Janzen created this Heirloom Tomato Jam for us.
What is tomato jam?
You may be a lover of jam on your peanut butter sandwiches. But a jam made with tomatoes is not exactly what you picture atop bread slicked with Jif. And you’re right, we wouldn’t serve it that way either!
Jam is a style of preserving made from fruit that is crushed or chopped then cooked with sugar until the fruit begins to fall apart, or at least lose shape. (And since tomato is technically a fruit, it’s a great candidate for this style of transformation.) Sugar is the primary preservative in jam. In other words, it’s the ingredient that makes it possible to keep your jar of summer fruits to enjoy all winter long. (Check out this article from Serious Eats if you’re interested in learning more about the differences between jam, jelly and preserves.)
In this particular version of a tomato jam, tomatoes are combine with the natural sweetness of peaches, (more sugar), and the heat of aphrodisiac chile to form a full-flavored condiment you can reach for all year.
Enjoy summer tomatoes all year long
Use this jam as a topping for a quick dinner of grilled white fish or chicken. You can also use it to add complex flavor to burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, it’s great on any sort of pressed sandwich. It would also make a tongue-tingling accompaniment to these Rosemary Cheese Scones.
When your ripe tomatoes are practically falling off the vine, this recipe provides the perfect way to preserve them. We love any recipe that allows us the aphrodisiac of heirloom tomatoes the whole year round.
Heirloom Tomato Jam
- 6 cups tomatoes peeled mostly seeded, chopped
- 4 nectarines or peaches peeled and diced
- 1 cup lightly caramelized onion 2 medium yellow onions, oil
- bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- minced hot pepper or chili flakes to taste
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar or 2 cups sugar plus 1 cup brown rice syrup
- Slowly sautee 2 diced yellow onions in 2 tablespoons of oil, until translucent and sweet, yet not dark brown.
- Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive pan, and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove bay leaf at this stage, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a vigorous boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars and use a standard 10 minute water bath canning method.
- Place jars on a rack to cool, and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Store sealed jars in a cool, dark space for up to a year. If any jars did not seal, refrigerate and use within 3 months.
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