About a year ago at a food swap, I first tasted tomato jam. It has not been far from my thoughts since then. I was just obsessed with the flavor. Which is a lot like ketchup...but kicked up a notch. It's adult ketchup. It's savory and sweet and chunky and delightful. And really, there are a million ways you can make it your own by adding and subtracting the seasonings.
I made three batches this year and all three taste different. It depends a lot on your tomatoes. As mine are all heirloom and vary in flavor, I assume that's a big player in the different flavors. I also taste along the way and adjust. So do note that this is just what I will call the base of the recipe. If yours isn't sweet enough, add more sugar. I actually added significantly more balsamic vinegar than is noted in this recipe because I really loved the depth of flavor it adds. And unless you are crazy like me, you won't have tomato powder. It's totally optional. I had it on hand so I went ahead and added it.
I do not peel and seed my tomatoes for this recipe. Neither bother me and that just seems silly to waste extra hours on that process. If they bother you, peel and seed away.
After the first batch, I swore I would never share with anyone. Ha. I vowed to hoard it. But with a full row on a shelf full, a few jars will make their way to the food swap this weekend with me. And to a few lucky friends.
* 1 c. sweet onion. chopped
* a bit of grape seed or olive oil
* 5 lbs tomatoes, chopped
* 1 c. basil, chopped
* 1 c. brown sugar
* 1 c. white sugar
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
* 1/4 tsp. ground garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp. cumin
* 1/2 tsp. tarragon
* 1 tbls tomato powder
* 1/4 c. cider vinegar
* 2 tbls. balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 c. lemon juice
* Heat up a heavy bottom pot (I always use my beloved cast iron, similar to Le Creuset) with just enough oil (lately I prefer grape seed oil...bestie Little got me hooked on it!) to saute the onion (which is basically one large onion). Saute the onion until translucent and just starting to caramelize.
* Add tomatoes. For me, I have to do this in two stages. I add the first batch and let it cook for a while with the lid on to reduce the liquid. Then add the remaining tomatoes.
* Add everything else.
* Cook for hours! HOURS. Every recipe I read said 20 minutes, but mine took hours and I want to make sure you are prepared for that. But I mean, I left to walk the dog and
* Test for flavor. Add more sugar, vinegar or seasonings to get it just right.
* Add to sterilized jars and process the same way you would process tomato sauce (for me, that's 35 minutes in a hot water bath). See Ball Canning for specific details.
Have you ever tried tomato jam? Are you a fan of making and/or using unique kitchen goodies (again, you use this in place of ketchup)? Please let me know if you try this or a similar recipe. Especially if you add or subtract flavors that you think I might want to try next year.