Tag Archives | tomato jam

CSA Cooking: Smoky, Spicy, Skillet Tomato Jam

half pint tomato jam

Skillet jams really are the best way I know to deal with a couple pounds of rapidly ripening fruit. Today’s batch was a slimmed down, extra spicy and smoky version of my classic tomato jam.

I had just two pounds of mismatched tomatoes from last week’s Philly Foodworks share and with a vacation looming, I’ve been trying to make useful things out of everything that could possibly go bad around here.

2 pounds macerated tomatoes

I chopped up the tomatoes, combined them with 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and let them macerate over night (I do so love breaking up the work of even the smallest batches of preserves into easily manageable pieces).

skillet tomato jam

Then today, I poured the juicy sugared tomatoes into my trust 12 inch skillet and added 4 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes, 1 generous teaspoon of smoked paprika, another teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.

tomato jam in a measuring cup

The tomatoes cooked down over hight heat for just around 20 minutes, until it was glossy, thick, and didn’t look at all watery. Into a trio of half pint jars and processed for 15 minutes, this little batch took less than an hour total of active time.

three half pints tomato jam

Like all tomato jams, this one is good with cheese and crackers, slathered on a burger, eaten with sweet potato fries, or dolloped alongside scrambled eggs.

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Preserves in Action: Egg Sandwich with Spinach and Tomato Jam

finished breakfast sandwich

I realize that there is already one egg sandwich with tomato jam in the archives of this site, but I can’t resist sharing my current favorite incarnation.

eggs and greens

It starts with a pat of butter melted in a very well seasoned cast iron skillet. I bought this square one on eBay many years ago and it’s one of my very favorite pieces of cookeware. Once the butter is just melted, I pour in two beaten eggs and tilt the pan to get an even coating.

While the eggs cook, I line the top of the eggs with spinach leaves. You want to get them in there while the eggs are still quite loose, as then they cook into the eggs and will stay in place when you flip.

adding cheese

Then you ease a spatula under the eggs (taking care to work all around so that you know nothing is sticking) and flip. This takes some practice, but as long as the skillet is well seasoned and you used butter (coconut oil also works), you should be able to do it.

Once the eggs are flipped, I turn off the burner and let the residual heat in the pan do the rest of the cooking. This is also the point at which you add some cheese. Cheddar is nice, but dill havarti or creamy goat cheese are also favorites.

folding eggs with tomato jam

I make one fold and add a goodly dollop of tomato jam. Another good option is a caramelized onion jam (there’s a recipe I like a lot in Preserving by the Pint). Fold again and place between two slices of toasted bread. You can also roll it up into a tortilla if you’re feeling more like a wrap than a sandwich.

bitten sandwich

Then, you wait until the sandwich cools ever so slightly (molten hot cheese burns are no good) and then you dig in. The sandwich makes enough that you could cut it in half and share it with a friend if you’re feeling generous.

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Preserves in Action: Tomato Jam

greens, ricotta and tomato jam on toast

I have fallen into something of a lunchtime routine. I start a couple slices of toast, pull out a jar of tomato jam, and then rummage around, looking for some leftover to add to bridge the toast and jam. Earlier today, I piled the toast high with some leftover braised collards and a little ricotta cheese before spooning on a little jam.

fromage blanc and tomato jam


Last week, I spread my toast with a little fromage blanc and then added the the tomato goodness (I also had a giant salad of arugula, baby lettuce, and chopped apple). I’ve also used this same formula with leftover roast chicken, baked tofu, and even cold steamed broccoli.

How are you guys using your preserves these days?

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Classic Tomato Jam Sweetened With Honey

five pounds tomatoes

It’s Monday morning and I’m just getting to the recipe I promised for Friday afternoon. I apologize to those of you who’ve been holding onto tomatoes all weekend in the hopes that this honey-sweetened tomato jam would appear. I have a bad habit of widely underestimating how long things are going to take me to accomplish and sadly, this post was delayed because of my poor estimation skills.

chopped tomatoes

Every since it first appeared on this blog, my friend Amy’s recipe for tomato jam has been one of the most popular things I’ve posted. The original post has hundreds of comments and nearly every time I teach a class or do a book event, someone comes up to me raving about the wonders of tomato jam.

honeyed tomato jam

It’s one of my favorite things as well. I smear it on turkey burgers, serve it with goat cheese, and use it as a dipping sauce for roasted sweet potatoes. Essentially, it’s a very fancy, chunky ketchup-substitute that can be used in all manner of both sweet and savory applications.

finished honey sweetened tomato jam

All summer long, I’ve been pulling out the sugar in many of my favorite recipes and dropping in honey instead. This recipe is the latest to undergo the conversion and I think it might be the most successful swap to date. The slightly honey flavor pairs beautifully with the tomatoes. The spices continue to sing and the yield is comparable to the sugared version. Truly, the only difference I’ve noticed is that this honey sweetened version isn’t as glossy as its counterpart. Happily, the sheen is the only thing that’s missing. The flavor is there in spades.

A couple of things to note. The length of time this jam can spend cooking varies widely. Stay close to the stove, stir regularly, and use a stainless steel pan in case it scorches. Towards the end of cooking, you should be stirring near constantly. You know this jam is finished when there’s no visible water separating out from the fruit. You’ll also hear a slightly sizzling noise as you stir towards the end of cooking. That’s a sign that the sugars have concentrated that the temperature in the pan is elevated beyond the boiling point of water. When you hear that, you are mere moments away from completion. Keep stirring for a moment or two longer and then pull the pan off the heat.

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Spicy Peach and Yellow Tomato Jam

yellow tomatoes and peaches

I made this jam back before my trip to Portland and have been meaning to share it ever since. It came to be thanks to an impulse purchase at Reading Terminal Market, just days before I was set to fly. Many of the produce stands there bag up their rapidly ripening produce and sell them for a buck a bag.

When you buy one of the discounted sacks, you know what you’re getting. It’s soft, sweet, and needs to be used within a day. I did not need another canning project in that moment, but I could not resist the deal of getting more than five pounds of jammable produce for $4.

filling hex jars

This is a honey sweetened jam that gets a set boost from Pomona’s Pectin. I’m finding myself moving more and more towards honey, maple sugar, and fruit juice concentrates for sweetening. I feel better when I use less refined sweeteners for my everyday preserves and am starting to save the sugar sweetened ones for special occasions. Such is the evolution of life and tastebuds, I guess.

six hex jars filled with peach and tomato jam

I think of this as a fairly spicy jam, because I added two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes. However, I realize that for those of you who like something with a more powerful kick, this is going to taste fairly bland. Feel free to adjust the red chili flake upwards a bit or add a generous dash of cayenne. I don’t want anyone disappointed by my wimpy spice tolerance.

a tiny hex jar of jam

Finally, you might notice that this product is preserved in the six-sided jam jars that close with lug lids. If you’re curious about them, make sure to read the piece I wrote about how to use them a few weeks back.

And just one more thing! The idea to combine tomatoes and peaches in a jam was originally planted in my mind by a recipe in Breakfast for Dinner. Though I didn’t follow their recipe at all, this is the second time I’ve made something really good that was inspired by that book.

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Tomato Mango Jam + Breakfast for Dinner Giveaway

Breakfast for Dinner

I have had a copy of Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth on my stack of cookbooks for eight weeks now (I know exactly how long its been because I posted a photo of the book to Instagram the day it arrived). I’ve long been a fan of eating delicious breakfast foods for my evening meal, so I couldn’t wait to take this one for a spin. I flipped through soon after it arrived and tucked a handful of sticky notes onto its pages, marking things I hoped to make.

tomato peach jam

For the last two months, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve plucked it off the pile with the intention of making something before being sidetracked by some other task (being in the midst of a giant writing project will do that). However, earlier today the stars aligned for me to try one of the jam recipes in the book. I had ripe tomatoes leftover from recipe testing and enough time to try a batch of the tomato peach jam. I didn’t have any peaches, but I did have a couple of ripe mangos that I thought would sub in nicely.

smashing jam

I peeled 2 pounds of tomatoes using the score and blanch method and dropped them into the high-sided skillet that is one of my favorite small batch pans. I added 1 cup of chopped ripe mango (it was 1 1/2 champagne mangos), one well-chopped small, spicy red chili pepper and broke everything up with a pastry blender (a potato masher does the same job nicely).

2+ cups of tomato mango jam

I added 3/4 cup sugar (it’s a bit more than the original recipe called for, but after a taste, I determined that it needed a bit more sweetness), 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (not included in the recipe, but I wanted it to have a bit more pucker), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (those last two are also my additions). And then I cooked, stirring regularly, for about 25 minutes, until it was quite thick and spreadable. The end product is sweet, tangy and slightly spicy. I am really pleased with it!

tomato mango jam

Once the jam was done, I funneled it into jars and processed them for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. I managed to fill three half pints, though they had slightly more generous than desired headspace. If I had to do it again, I would have swapped out one of the half pint jars for a quarter pint. Hindsight.

As I’ve written this blog post, I’ve realized that I took a number of liberties with the recipe. However, the inspiration and recipe framework really do belong to Lindsay and Taylor. I never would have thought to combine tomatoes and mangos had it not been for their pairing of tomatoes and peaches. What’s more, I betcha that if it was late summer and I had sun-ripened tomatoes and peaches to work with, I wouldn’t have needed to tweak things so much to boost the flavor. I’m looking to trying this one (exactly as written!) again in August.

Thanks to the nice folks at Quirk Books, I have a copy of this book to give away. I’m doing this one as a flash giveaway over the weekend, so we’ll have a winner for this one on Sunday evening. Here are the details:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite breakfast for dinner meal.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 31, 2013. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog that evening.
  3. Giveaway open to all.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Quirk Books provided two copies of Breakfast for Dinner at no cost for me. My opinions remain my own.