Thursday, September 22, 2011

...and then there was Tomato Jam

I know I know I've taken it way too far, but this may be my last tomato entry for awhile and you know you'll miss them when I start to ramble on about quilts and fabric. 

I found the beloved Punk Domestics. I then found their Jamboree Contest at the Eat Real Festival this weekend and because I am a very competitive person I decided to enter my tomato jam.
This was my first try at making tomato jam.  I found inspiration from Marisa at Food in Jars, White on Rice Couple, Homesick Texan and even the NY Times.  I read them all a few times before I started my first batch.  Here is the recipe: 
Don't worry about not being able to read it. It sucked.  I should have just called Texas and Sonic like the list says.  But because I am in bed with a wine maker / tomato farmer there are a few things the monarch should know like how to drink wine and how to make tomato jam. Here is what that mess of a list taught me:
 # 1. Lime juice and tomatoes are an excellent pair
# 2.  Cinnamin, allspice, cloves etc. and tomatoes are nasty
#3. I want my tomato jam to taste like tomatoes
#4 Don't use large, juicy tomatoes. Otherwise, you'll become impatient, burn the damnation out of them and ruin your le Creuset pan trying to hurry things along...calamity.
For redemption, I tied on the beloved apron strings, tied back the hair, stepped into the elderly clogs and set out to atone (see above illustration)

Here is the recipe 
(and if I do say so myself it rocks and I hope I win)

6-8 cups small tomatoes (1-2" in diameter skins on seeds in)
2 cups sugar
1 T grated ginger
zest and juice of 2 limes 
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6-8 T of a strong vinegar
Cook for 1.5 - 2 hours until is reduces to a jam
Pack into clean, hot jelly jars, top with hot lids, and boil in your water bath for 20 minutes

note: I used our homemade Viognier vinegar.  It can take the paint off your car, but I needed it to balance all that sugar.  I tasted the jam every 20 minutes for the 2 hours I cooked it and kept adding vinegar right up to the end. I would not use Balsamic, like I did the first time around, but try a white wine vinegar or even apple cider so as not to mess with the pretty red color, as I did below:
Attempt 1. attractive but totally gross
Now I have to go skin, peel, seed, core, crush, chop, can, boil, seal, and preserve again.

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