We have had the most incredible garden treats from Azalea Inn and our tomato harvest has inspired our favorite (so far) WOW recipe: Tomato Jam. I picked the last of our cherry and yellow pear tomatoes to be turned into our infamous Tomato Jam. We plan to serve the Jam on Rosemary shortbread at next week’s wine and appetizer hour. As you can see from the impish faces of Kolin and Courtney, we love our tomatoes! I am not sure how many of the garden harvested tomatoes made it into the jam, but there was enough for two more canning jars of our oft-requested jam recipe (compliments of Bon Appetite, April 2010).
The recipe itself calls for 5 large tomatoes but we have a plethora of the cherry and tiny yellow pear tomatoes and found that they worked as well, if not better, with the two-tone color. We did not skin these tomatoes as the recipe calls for, instead squeezing the seeds out whole and tossing into the saucepan, no boiling first necessary.
2 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 5 large)
2 cups granulated sugar
Generous pinch of salt
Generous pinch of ground cayenne pepper
2 or 3 grinds of black pepper
2 or 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, cut out the stem end of each tomato, then slice a shallow X in the bottom. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water until their skins loosen, about 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, slip off the tomato skins. Discard the water, but save the saucepan for cooking the jam. Halve the tomatoes crosswise and gently squeeze out the seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes into 1/3-inch pieces.
Return the tomatoes to the saucepan; stir in the sugar, salt, and peppers. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure that the mixture is cooking evenly but not burning, until most of the liquid has evaporated. If foam occasionally rises to the top, skim it off with a large spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice to taste.
Ladle the jam into sterilized jars. Cover tightly, let cool, and refrigerate. The jam will keep for at least 6 months refrigerated, though it has not lasted that long at the inn!