I know that a lot of you already did your canning for the season, and you are probably way ahead of me in the game (maybe?). Just in case you are still looking for ideas to use the last batch of tomatoes from your garden or the market; I have this Tomato Jam recipe that can be used in a lot of different ways. The tomatoes used in this recipe were handpicked by our family at Jenehr Family Farm in Sun Prairie. One perk of buying our CSA from Jenehr is that we get the opportunity to go to the farm few times during their “u-pick” events. I really enjoy having the kids make that connection with their food, plus we get to see the farm where our food comes from.
When I was 6 years old my parents moved from the big city, Caracas; to a tiny town just 45 minutes away. Our neighbors were family, my Godfather had a farm few miles from there, he sold his produce at the farmer’s market every Friday and Saturday morning. Some afternoons after school he would ask if we could help pick tomatoes at the farm. I used to get so excited to ride in the big tractor with my cousins. It was all an adventure. We would bring a piece of brown bag with a handful of salt in it so that we could sprinkle it over fresh tomatoes and eat them on our way back. Those are great childhood memories! My kids will never have the same memories; I hope they can at least remember family time visiting the farm when they grow older and sniff the aroma of freshly picked, velvety tomatoes.
As for this recipe, I used cherry tomatoes, but you can use any kind of tomatoes. This recipe is very easy, although it requires some time. It is totally worthy thou! It is a great condiment to use in place of ketchup if you’d like, which means it goes well with a lot of things. We spread it on bread and top it with fresh mozzarella cheese for an afternoon snack, the kids can’t have enough. My husband grilled chicken last week and brushed it over for a nice finish, it was very yummy! It makes a great appetizer over crackers spread with cream cheese, and finally my favorite: this tomato jam recipe is the PERFECT cocktail sauce substitute for shrimps! So if you got some tomatoes I got some jam, let’s get cooking!
(makes about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 lbs. cherry tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (you can substitute with pumpkin spice)*
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, honey, vinegar, and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and stir, cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Break the tomatoes down with the back of a wooden spoon. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes cook down and the liquid is evaporated, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool, remove cinnamon sticks and star anise; pass the tomato mixture through a food mill, or mesh strainer. If using a mesh strainer, push the liquid out with the back of a spoon. Store the tomato jam in an air tight container, and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!
*Cook’s Note: Chinese Five Spice powder can be found at the grocery store. It’s a combination of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, pepper, and fennel seeds. The amounts of each spice is going to depend on the brand, some brands also have ginger in the mix. You can make your own mix or substitute with pumpkin spice. The flavor profile will be slightly different.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living