A few years back, a good friend gave me a small jar of tomato jam. I have been craving it ever since. However, all the recipes I found have just too much sugar in them. Darn it! So, naturally me who-does-not-follow-recipes made up my own. My first batch was heavenly, this second batch uses red wine for a bit of that sweet flavor. If you don’t use red wine, no big deal. You won’t have to cook as long to reduce the jam. On the third batch, I added a tad organic raw cane sugar and paprika. Do want pleases you!
4 lbs roma tomatoes
2 tblsp dry red wine
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp raw cane sugar, depends on how jammy you want this
Optional: 1 tblsp sweet paprika or smoked, it’s up to you and your taste buds
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced, depending on taste
1 tblsp ground cumin
1-2 tblsp fresh oregano, finely chopped, depending on taste
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Peel the tomatoes using this method – I prefer the poaching method. Roasting will add to flavor which works for a dish focused on a savory flavor. I have found that freezing tomatoes completely changes their flavor.
Cut tomatoes in half and deseed. Place in colander until you have processed all the tomatoes. Go ahead and let it drain because you really don’t need the extra moisture!
Pour just enough olive oil to sauté the shallots until soft but not brown, add garlic and cook about a minute longer. Add the tomatoes and rest of ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally to break down the tomatoes. Cook until it is the consistency of a thick jam, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how hot your range cooks.
For a spicier jam, add a teaspoon (or more according to your taste!) of finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper. I do process my jalapeno peppers at the end of garden season – the Fall – by destemming, chopping fine in a Cuisinart and packing in oil for winter use.
I put the jam in 4 oz jelly jars for gifts to give away that week and one for me!
NOTE My original recipe did not include sugar, but if you want a real jam you must add a bit of sugar for the mixture to have the texture. Use only one tablespoon if you are hesitant, and organic raw cane sugar if available.
PS Yes, those are tomatillos in the picture. Roasting those tonight!