Cherry tomato jam

tomato-jam

Lately, I’ve been buying a big 1-kilogram carton of cherry tomatoes every week. And every week, I go through the entire thing, minus 20 little tomatoes or so. And since week-old tomatoes don’t compare to fresh ones, I’ve been accumulating little cups of wrinkling cherry tomatoes in my fridge.

What to do? I turned them into a jam. While the concept of tomato jam may sound a bit strange, since most jams are made with fruit, it’s actually quite good when done correctly. Some of my favorite breakfast places, including LovEat, serve cherry tomato jam. Plus, tomatoes are indeed fruit.

This jam is great warm, and quick to make — I made it while preparing an omelet for brunch. The whole cherry tomatoes come out wonderfully spreadable.

For a small jar’s worth:

300 grams cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves

Put the whole tomatoes, the sugar and the water into a thick pot, and bring to a boil until the liquids reach 105 degrees Celsius (220 degrees Fahrenheit) — bringing the sugar to this temperature, known as “thread stage,” is part of what gives jam its thick texture. You can either use a thermometer, which I usually do, or look at the bubbles — you should see that they’re moving a bit more slowly through the liquid, because the liquid is getting thicker and stickier.

Add the spices, and let the mixture continue to cook until the tomatoes are soft and well-wrinkled and jam has boiled down to the desired thickness. Put into clean jars.

MORE RESOURCES

I usually douse my jars in boiling water, and then refrigerate the jam. If you want your jam to last for, say, years, you’ll need to properly can it. You can find a discussion about making jam, and how to can it, here, at Dorie Greenspan’s blog. You can find the updated USDA guide to home canning here.

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