Cowboy Tomato JamAhhh, tomatoes. Is there a vegetable/fruit that tastes more like summer than a vine ripened tomato? On my Grandparent's farm, we kids would pick a tomato, lick the outside, then dip it into a palm full of Morton Salt. Then we'd take a slurpy bite out of the sun-heated tomato as if we were eating an apple. You would never want to do that to a winterized grocery store chain tomato, but there is nothing sweeter than a farm grown, garden grown, patio grown summer variety.
It's hard to believe, the tomato used to be thought of as poison many centuries ago. Then, it was grown as only ornamental garden decor, and finally - some brave people realized they were passing up a great BLT sandwich. I re-created that sandwich with Smokey Tea Tomato jam last summer right here.
When tomatoes were first brought to Italy, it's thought they were probably the yellow ones as the Italians and Spanish named it Pomi d'oro (now known as Pomodoro) meaning "apple of yellow/gold). The French (not too surprising) called them Pommes d'amour (apples of love) because they thought the tomatoes were aphrodisiacs. But, don't the French think air is aphrodisiac, too? Love that about the French!
So, this month's canning challenge for Tigress Can/Jam was the glorious TOMATO; chosen by Julia of What Julia Ate.
Here's my adaptation of a recipe from the Minimalist for Tomato Jam:
COWBOY TOMATO JAM:
1 lb. Garden fresh tomatoes (peeled, cored and chopped)
12 oz. sugar
1 lime (juice and zest)
1 Tbls. fresh ginger zested
1 whole Jalapeno (minced)
1 tsp each: cumin, black pepper and cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a deep saucepan. Cook on low until the sugar dissolves, stirring often.
Bring to a boil on Med., continue to stir, for several minutes.
Increase heat and boil until temp reaches 220F or check for jam set with a chilled plate (a dollop should have a little rise to it, and leave a space when you drag your finger through it).
Fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace for food expansion. Seal immediately, and hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove, carefully, and leave for 12-24 hours without moving. Label and store in a cool, dry place.
If you are new to canning, be sure to read over the correct process. Otherwise, you can make this jam, pour into containers, leave to cool, then refrigerate for consuming. Yipee, Cowboys and Cowgirls - this jam has a little bite back!