Enough about childrens' books. I made tomato jam yesterday! I was inspired by my uncle Jason (one of my few loyal blog followers), who convinced me that combining tomatoes with such unlikely ingredients as cinnamon and ginger was worth a shot even though I was kind of fearful!
It came out fantastically, and we had it for dinner with freshly baked bread and a small salad. My only issue with the recipe was that I felt that the cumin overwhelmed the flavor of the tomatoes. I usually feel this way about any recipe that calls for cumin, so I used less than the called-for teaspoon, and still thought it was too strong. Next time, I'll just use a dash or maybe none at all. Otherwise, the rest of the flavors combined perfectly into a blissful combination of sweetness and spice. When I put it on the bread and tasted it, the only flavor I tasted was honey (which wasn't an ingredient. Interesting.). YUM!
The ingredients (yes, we jacked the limes from Baja Fresh...long story, don't judge!):
The color of the jam was brilliant. I used brandywine tomatoes (my all-time favorite heirloom variety), which tend to be on the pink side. The jam turned out a deep, vibrant red that perfectly captures all that is wonderful about summertime and tomatoes.
A (sorry, crappy) picture towards the end of cooking:
Making this jam was a great way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall!
Mark Bittman's Tomato Jam:
1 1/2 pounds good ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño or other peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste.
1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week.
Yield: About 1 pint.