Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Smoky Tomato Jam



 
You will never hear me use the word guilt in association with food and eating. Personally, I think it is a damaging word that has shaped our thoughts on eating habits, weight and health for far too long. 

That being said, I have one exception. 

The garden.

When this time of year rolls around and I see hot peppers so heavy on the plant that they touch the ground, and tomatoes that are ripe, but a little ugly, I start to feel guilty. It’s food, I can’t let it go to waste! And while I’m exhausted from thinking of ways to use it, I just can’t leave it out there to rot, or pull up the plants knowing they have some life left in them.

So with a full freezer, I turned to a little more canning this past week. 

First up? Tomato jam. 
 
I’d been entertaining the idea of making tomato jam, most of the summer, but never committed. Then I found a recipe from Food in Jars for Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika.  It was the smoked paprika that got me. I love that stuff!


So I gathered up the last of the tomatoes, and got cooking. Our orange tomato plants are done producing, but I still had Better Boy and San Marzano hanging on. They worked perfectly. I also used dried ginger (half the amount) instead of fresh, and skipped the cayenne simply because I didn’t have any dried on hand. 

You can find the recipe on the Food in Jars blog. This jam is the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and smoky. Next year, I will be pulling this recipe out early to get a head start during prime tomato season. Yes, it’s that good.


11 comments:

Andrea said...

I have wanted to try tomato jam this year! It's popping up a lot on food blogs lately and it sounds so freaking delicious!

I'm not canning but I still might make some to have on hand in the frige for dipping and spreading. :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) said...

Oh yum. That would be divine on a grilled cheese!

lisa is cooking said...

Smoked paprika gets me every time. Sounds great in this tomato jam! It looks like you made excellent use of the last of your tomatoes.

Lori said...

Andrea - You could definitely make a smaller batch, and alter things a bit for a fridge jam. It would be perfect!

Emily - That is a brilliant idea! Didn't think about grilled cheese!

lisa - I just love that stuff! Makes everything taste good.

TasteHongKong said...

A nice way of using tomato fully : )! I love tomato with paprika though often in savory dished

Elizabeth said...

I make tomato jam and what I call tomato marmalade. The marmalade is the first jam I learned to make with my mother. I was probably still in grade school. Back then we still sealed the jars with paraffin. This was the 60's. Tomato based jams are very delicious served on rye and pumpernickel bread and rolls.

kat said...

Bet this will be great when you are craving a blt in the winter & you don't want to use bland winter tomatoes.

Lori said...

TasteHongKong - I love fresh tomatoes, but it's nice to have options!

Elizabeth - What wonderful memories! I bet that marmalade is delicious. I need to try this on those varieties of breads for sure.

kat - Absolutely. Hoping it will spice things up a bit!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oooh yes on grilled cheese!!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you replace the white sugar with rapadura for this tomato jam recipe? Wondering if that's possible for those of us trying to ban white sugar from our diets?

Lori said...

I didn't for this recipe. I have canned with Demerara/turbanado sugar before though. In my homebased microprocessing course, I did ask the professor if other granulated sugars could be used in canning recipes, and I was told yes. How it will tasted/look etc will all depend on the recipe so there is some experimenting involved.