Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tomato Jam

Yes really, jam! They are a fruit, really, though most often used in a savoury fashion that it's easy to forget they may have other possibilities. I love them raw and cooked at this time of year, and the lovely summer we're (still?) having has produced a juicy well flavoured crop, piled in abundance in all the shops and street markets round me. I had a few too many last week so made a big pot of this lovely jam, originally from a recipe by Jose Pizarro. I made and bottled a couple of kilos but you can make a small quantity for a single jar - which I did last year - and it still tastes just great. It's a bit like a marmalade rather than a very sweet jam.

Tomato Jam

Makes approximately 300ml

1kg ripe, well flavoured tomatoes
125g caster sugar
125g demerara sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
peel of 1/2 lemon
peel of 1/2 orange - tie the two lots of peel together with string to make it easy to remove

Use a sharp knife to make a cross in the skin on the base of each tomato.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from the pan and plunge them into iced water. Remove the stems and the skins - they will slip off really easily. Chop the tomatoes into 4 or 5 rough slices, making sure to catch the juice as you do.

Place the tomatoes and juice in a  saucepan and leave to reduce over a low heat for 20 - 30 minutes till most of the water has evaporated. Now add the sugars, cinnamon and peels and give everything a good stir. Don't break up the cinnamon.

Slowly cook the tomatoes for at about an hour - longer if you're making a bigger batch - stirring regularly. The end result should be a sticky, firm jam that is a shiny brown red colour.

When cooked remove the cinnamon stick and the citrus peel and pour into a warm sterilised jar.

Keeps well in the fridge.

This is gorgeous slathered on hot toast for breakfast, as a side with cheeses or cold roast pork or ham. And on twitter Joanne from suggested having with grilled cheese on toast - definitely on my list of weekend treats to try.

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