Monday, October 10, 2011

Jeremy + Tomato Jam

Today, I've been married for 2 years. Ideally I'd be telling you about the super fancy pants dinner I have planned for the occasion. But my dad has been in the hospital and we spent the weekend visiting him in Florida. (He's out now and he's going to be fine, but I had to see him in person to reassure myself.) So instead, I thought I'd dedicate this post to my husband Jeremy and share a new recipe that we both really love.

This is how most of the world views Jeremy. A coffee-inhaling software engineer with his iphone permanently attached to his hand:

If you get to know him better, the next picture shows what he's really like. A 5-year-old masquerading as an adult that thinks that robots and Morse code are super cool and that uni-cycling indoors is a great idea. (He also makes questionable fashion choices like wearing socks with Sperrys.)

Don't let all the nerd street cred fool you though, he is a great husband. He keeps me in the caffeine, walks the dogs, and fixes the html when I start screaming at Blogger because it's putting everything in italics.

And after two years, we've got some important stuff figured out: like coffee and watching our dogs play fixes a lot of things, when I'm mad I'm always right, and breakfast is always a good option.

When it comes to food, we like a lot of the same things. But I definitely have the sweet tooth, while Jeremy is all over the savory. Which is why this tomato jam recipe is so perfect: it's both.

This was my second canning experiment. And it was so good I promptly went out and bought an obscene amount of tomatoes to make another batch. I thought I might give them as Christmas presents, but the way we're eating through the jars maybe not.

The procedure is so ridiculously simple too. Basically chop a lot of tomatoes and reduce them with sugar and spices. Although I followed the recipe and did this on the stove top, you could probably do this in a big crock pot too.

The better your tomatoes, the better this is going to taste. Lucky I've got an organic tomato hookup.

Slicing and dicing is so much easier with a mandoline. 
A double batch worth of tomatoes:

A lot of sugar, plus cinnamon, cloves, ginger, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and salt.

After cooking down: 
 Served with toasted slices of baguette and cheese. We really liked it with goat cheese and bleu cheese.

The taste of this tomato jam is sooooo good. There isn't really anything store bought that I can compare this to. It's sweet like jam, but acidic from the tomatoes, and it has a little bite from the red pepper flakes. The cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are really pretty tiny amounts compared to the weight of the tomatoes and just enhance the tomato flavor. If you're a fan of pepper jellies, you should really try this. If your not going to can it you could easily scale the recipe down.

Tomato Jam
(adapted slightly from Food in Jars recipe)
Yields approx. 3 pints (about 6 cups)


5 pounds tomatoes finely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes


1. Combine everything in a non-reactive stockpot and simmer over medium heat for 1 to 2 hours stirring occasionally. You'll know you've got the right consistency when you've got a large sticky mass on the bottom of the pot.

2. Refrigerate for immediate consumption or ladle into hot jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.

3. Wipe rims and apply lids finger tight. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

4. Cool jars, test seals, and store in a cool, dark pantry for up to one year.

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