Wondering what to do with all those beautiful extra garden tomatoes? Skip the typical marinara sauce or plain ole’ canning, and whip up some deliciously Sweet & Spicy Tomato Jam.
This jam goes great as a sauce for grilled chicken or white fish, and is especially nice with scallops. Serve with a soft cheese, like brie, for a scrumptious party appetizer. Need a quick pick me up? Swirl a spoonful into some plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
This is not your mama’s jam recipe. First of all, its got quite a hot kick to it. If you aren’t a fan of too much spice, then you’ll definitely want to tone down the crushed red pepper flakes. For a more mild jam, go for ¼ — ½ tsp. of flakes. Those who can’t resist the heat will want to stick with the suggested 1 Tbs. Secondly, I decided to skip the Pectin (used for thickening and stabilizing many jams and jellies). Pectin occurs naturally in some fruits like apples, berries, and citrus peels, but is most commonly seen in powdered form for jam making. When combined with sugar, and quickly brought to high heat it creates that desirable jelly-like thickened texture, and helps with stabilization. While it does shorten cooking time substantially, it requires almost double the sugar. In this recipe, I used an apple for it’s pectin properties as well as to round out the tomato flavor. Just make sure to check on your jam and stir it every few minutes to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan, and this au natural method works wonderfully.
Sweet & Spicy Tomato Jam
Yields 4-5 cups
- 4 lbs. ripe tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, mashed & pasted w/ salt
- 1 apple, peeled, cored & diced
- 2 c. sugar
- ¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ – 1 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 c. water or leftover strained tomato juice
1. Peel and core the tomatoes & remove the seeds. Dip in a bowl of cool water to remove any remaining seeds. Strain the liquid and set aside to use in place of water for the jam.
2. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan over moderate heat. Allow to simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours, until reduced by half and texture is thick and syrupy. Be sure to stir the mixture every few minutes, especially when reduced, to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.
3. Carefully pour the jam to sterilized jars for canning if desired, or transfer to another container and allow to cool fully before serving.