I posted the original recipe for my tomato jam two years ago in the fall. This weekend I changed a few ingredients and methods. Oh, and I added crisp bacon!! I did discover date syrup for this weekend’s batch.
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.
3-4 lbs tomatoes, any garden variety you just picked
2 tblsp dry red wine (you can omit this)
1 tblsp lemon juice with zest
1.5 tsp organic date syrup
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
1 tblsp ground cumin
1 tblsp paprika, sweet or smoked, it’s up to you and your taste buds
2 tblsp fresh oregano, finely chopped, packed
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
I used to blanch my tomatoes to peel the skin. This weekend I decided to give roasting a try. I cut the tomatoes horizontal – I had luscious round tomatoes, I have no idea of the variety – scraped out the seeds and place the tomato halves flat side down on a sheet pan with a silicone mat. I drizzled olive oil, and sparingly used fresh ground sea salt and pepper to top the tomatoes. Roasting will add to flavor which works for a dish focused on a savory flavor.
Roast the tomatoes at 400 degrees until they are wilted and just about to brown, 20 or 30 minutes depending on how hot your oven gets. When they are done, pull the skins and set the tomatoes aside in a large bowl. You may need to drain some of the juices in the baking pan, you don’t need it.
While the tomatoes are roasting, use a large fry pan and add just enough olive oil to sauté the shallots until soft but not brown, add garlic and cook about a minute longer. Remove from heat until the tomatoes are done and peeled.
Add the peeled tomatoes to pan with the shallots and garlic, and then add the paprika, cumin, chopped oregano and date syrup. I know date syrup seems odd, but honey or sugar makes the tomatoes too sweet and my goal here is savory.
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.
Let the tomato mixture cool before storing in mason jars. Lasts about a day. Not really, maybe a week!
For even more flavor, I added four strips of crispy bacon, chopped. Tomato Bacon Jam!
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. Chipotle in adobo sauce will give your jam zest plus a smoky flavor. Tomato Pepper Jam!
I put the jam in 4 oz jelly jars for gifts to give away that week and one for me