DIY: Tomato Jam Recipe

At the end of the growing season, you may find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes and some a bit under- or over-ripe. This recipe is a great choice to use many of them up.  You can use canned tomatoes as well, if your own home garden doesn't produce enough at once.

This tomato jam has a bit of kick to it. You can serve it with cream cheese to lower the heat of it or just use less of the red chili flakes in your batch.

It can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. Try it with duck or pork chops. It is great on a grilled cheese sandwich and slathered on biscuits or warn cornbread. 

Ingredients:
   5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped (skin, seeds, and all)
   2 1/2 cups sugar* (add more or less to taste)
   8 tablespoons lime juice
   2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
   1 teaspoon cinnamon
   1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
   1 tablespoon salt
   2 teaspoons red chili flakes (add more or less to taste)
   1 packet of Sure-Jell pectin

Instructions:
1. Combine all ingredients (except the Sure-Jell and 1/3 cup sugar) in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Scoop off any foam from the surface and discard (or eat on toast as is). Stirring regularly, simmer the jam between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
2. Bring the jam back up to a boil. Stir together 1/3 cup sugar and the contents of 1 package of Sure-Jell pectin in a small bowl. Then add the mixture to the jam, stirring constantly. It should thicken up quickly. Boil for a minute.
3. Remove from heat and ladle into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head-space. Wipe rims, apply new lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
3. When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Notes: The finished yield on this recipe varies depending on the kind of tomato you use, the width of your pan and the finished thickness to which you cook it. Typically yields 4 pints.

Thanks to my garden club pal Lynn Title for her assistance in cooking and canning this jam.
This recipe is adapted from one created by FreshFarm Markets.

This is a monthly blog series on DIY projects for the beginning home gardener. Look for the other installments in this DIY blog series by putting "DIY" in the search box here at washingtongardener.blogspot.com

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