Making Tomato Jam
By nrlowell on September 13, 2013
I have caught jam fever! Thanks to Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars, I am now entering a new realm of cooking; I am putting things by. I know I haven't made a lot of things yet, so far I made some divine lemon curd, some pickled beets, which I don't love, but am determined to eat, and the latest project, Tomato Jam! Last Thursday was the last day of summer break for my daughter, so she and her friend Sophia and I spent the day making tomato jam and filming the entire process.
Unfortunately, due to technical issues I am unable to share the video with you, but it was quite a process! We started with a whopping five pounds of tomatoes, and ended up with not quite three pints of jam. I am going to make some more, and will use a lot more tomatoes. The recipe said the yield would be four pints, but I think and extra wet summer has given us some extra watery tomatoes. They took a long time to cook down too. Though I was disappointed with the amount of jam we got, I am very pleased with the jam.
It is great, and now that I've made it I can make it again and adjust it to my taste. I accidentally added too much clove (making jam with two thirteen year old girls, while one of them is making a video can have a negative impact on my ability to focus) and though I did my best to scoop it out, I think there is a bit too much clove flavor. I will also cut down on the crushed red pepper because it is a little to hot for me. That being said, it is incredibly beautiful! It is a deep red, and it is thick and luscious and so good I want to offer free tastes to people passing by my house, but I will refrain from doing that.
If you haven't canned anything, now would be a good time to start. I live in Philadelphia, and there are still tomatoes, peaches and lots of plums at the farmers' markets. You don't need much in the way of supplies, and if you are anything like me you will feel such a huge sense of accomplishment, awe and pride just looking at these lovely jars it will be well worth the effort. You need to line them up where you see the light reflected to get the full experience, though I think its best to store them in the dark.