Garden Fresh Tomatoes are cooked down with Brown Sugar, Sherry Vinegar, Soy Sauce, and Spices, into an Intensely Flavorful Condiment much like a Rustic Homemade Ketchup. Preserve now for Delicious Holiday Gifts later.
Ok, so this isn’t really a baking-type post. And it’s not really a dessert post, either. But hopefully you’ll forgive me for that when you taste what it’s all about.
The flavors in this tomato jam will knock your stinky socks off. I am not kidding.
Once I’d conquered my jam-making, canning, preserving fears, I knew I’d be making huge batches of this. For one thing, ’tis the season of neighbors knocking each other’s doors down, bearing overstuffed grocery bags full of their summer bumper crop. We’ve all got ‘em, in spades, and we don’t know what the heck to do with the sheer volume of…
I think it had to be close to a year ago that Mr. Allie and I were watching Food Network, saw this recipe, and HAD to make it, THAT VERY NIGHT. It was so good. I mean, we were kinda blown away. And the tomato jam really made the dish. Such a huge flavor impact! Our tastebuds were doing a happy dance…
It was a bit time consuming, mostly because of the tomato jam, but I remember thinking that if I’d already had it made, in the pantry or whatever, the meal would’ve been a cinch. I’m sure that was the original intent the chef had when developing it.
While away a free afternoon whipping up this concoction, and you’ll thank yourself in the months to come. This condiment will wake up just about any dish. I’m thinking eggs, salads, drizzled on a hearty soup, accompanying a cheese board… or of course, Shrimp and Truffled Grits with Moroccan Chorizo Broth, a la Chef Beau McMillan.
Peeling and seeding tomatoes may sound tedious, but it can translate into a happy memory between a mom and her big boy, leaning over the sink together while singing pop songs along with the radio.
At least I hope he’ll remember times like these, when he’s grown. They are certainly precious to me.
Not only did I enjoy his company, but he cut the work in half for me. So what if there were a few stray seeds in the jam, and puddles of tomato juice all over the floor and counter?
There was plenty of time to clean up while the jam simmered away on the stove, reducing down to it’s essence, and filling our home with it’s sweet/savory aroma.
- 6 pounds (about 20 medium-sized) fresh tomatoes
- 1¾ cups brown sugar
- 1¼ cups soy sauce
- 1 cup sherry vinegar (not cooking wine)
- 2 tablespoons Gojuchang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste), or your preferred hot sauce, to taste
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced or grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Cut a small "X" in the bottom of each tomato, and submerge in boiling water for one minute.
- Plunge the tomatoes in ice water.
- Peel and halve the tomatoes, and squish out the seeds.
- Place the tomatoes in a large skillet along with the remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, and reduced by about 80%.
- Keep the reduced jam warm while clean jars are fully submerged in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water, turn the heat down to a simmer, and put in the lids.
- Fill the jars, within ¼-inch of the rim, with the jam. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth.
- Place the warmed and softened lids on the jars, and screw on the rings. Bring the large pot of water back up to a rolling boil, and submerge the jars, once again, for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water bath and allow to cool completely. The "button" should vacuum seal, and pull down, so it can no longer be "popped" up and down.
If you don’t quite have the hang of canning/preserving, this tomato jam will keep for a few weeks in the fridge. Feel free to halve or even quarter the recipe, just watch it while it simmers and give it a stir every now and then so it doesn’t scorch.
But if you’re experienced/adventurous enough to take a crack at sterilizing the jars before sealing and submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes, then whip up a big batch, and keep them in your cupboard for months. I love giving homemade gifts at the holidays, and hopefully my family likes getting them, because these will definitely be stashed in stockings in a few months!
If you are a home canning/preserving enthusiast, you might also enjoy reading about my first attempt (click the pics for the recipes):
…and what you can make with it:
Happy Labor Day Weekend, friends!