I have a LOT of small salad tomatoes coming out of the garden right now. It’s about all we have coming out of there, thanks to this guy.
Now that we’ve caught him, maybe we will get more large, beautiful, WHOLE tomatoes. Until then, what to do with all of those cherry tomatoes? Afterall, we can only eat so many and I’ve given away several pints too.
I considered canning them, but it would take so many of them to fill a jar, it just didn’t seem worth it. Fortunately I have a nice collection of canning and preserving books!
I looked at all of the tomato recipes and decided that for Try It Tuesday, I would TRY something unusual. Tomato Jam seemed as unusual as it gets! Each book had their own version and it seemed that my smaller tomatoes and cherry tomatoes (they are really more the size of ping-pong balls) would be perfect for this use.
The “So Easy To Preserve” is my go-to book, my Canning Bible if you will. It has tried and tested recipes that I can be assured are safe. I firmly believe that if you are going to can, dry or freeze foods, this book MUST be in your kitchen. I got mine at my local extension service, but you can get a copy directly from the Cooperative Extension at the University of Georgia by clicking HERE. This is a new sixth edition, mine is a fifth edition…I may have to pick up the new one!
Anyway, I chose this recipe, but I made one minor change to the recipe. Instead of lemon rind I added 1/2 Tablespoon of Red Pepper Flakes (and then another and then a pinch more. I may have gone overboard there). I threw in a little salt too. I also doubled the recipe.
When changing a recipe like this one, some of the ingredients can be interchanged, but never, EVER change the amount of acid, in this case lemon juice. The acid is there to prevent spoilage and is tested to make sure that the food is at a safe acidity level.
I thought that removing the skins from all of those little tomatoes would be a pain in the neck, but it actually went pretty quickly. Just a moment (less than 30 seconds) in the boiling water and then into the ice bath and they were slipping right out of their little jackets!
After that I chopped and boiled and seasoned and boiled some more! Oh the aromatic spices in this recipe! Such a treat for the senses! I just love the scent of Allspice!
I cooked it all down and put it in jars, eleven half-pints in all with a little left over for the fridge. This allowed for a little taste. I had mine on a piece of white bread.
The Girl was VERY skeptical when I told her my plans for today. “I don’t think that’s going to be very good. It sounds like Ketchup and I don’t like Ketchup.”
It’s nothing like ketchup at all. It’s sweet, it’s jelly-like and it’s spicy. I probably would have been good to stop at 1 Tablespoon or less, but this heat level will delight The Girl and others in the family that like a bit of heat! I think she’s going to be very surprised and very pleased with the end product. I sure hope so, did I mention there are 11 half-pints?
I can see this jam being mixed with ketch up (shh…don’t tell the girl) and used on pork or even straight as a glaze on ham or pork loin. It will make an unusual gift for friends and family too! It’s going to be a nice addition to the pantry. If only my whole tomato canning had gone so well…
What have YOU tried recently?