Tomato jam? Wouldn’t you normally use fruit to make jam? That is right and yet it is also what make this jam so fabulous. It’s my latest discovery from Portugal. I recently spent a weekend in Lisbon and Cristiana, a Portuguese friend of ours, told me to try it. I would have not imagined that ripe, caramelized tomatoes and a sip of Port wine could create such a mouth-watering delicacy.
While the tomato season is still on, I strongly recommend you to get at least 1 kilo (2 pounds) of very ripe tomatoes and to give it a shot yourself. The good thing about jams is that you barely cook them for longer than 10-15 min. You want to avoid caramelizing your ingredients too much because that would change the taste. The trick is to let the water evaporate a little bit and then to seal the jam in jars while it is still hot.
For one kilo of tomatoes, you will need 3 medium size glass jars of 160 ml (5 oz) as shown in the picture.
The jam is fantastic on whole grain bread or with a slice of cheese (e.g. goat cheese) or meat (e.g. steak).
1 kg tomatoes (very ripe)
370 g brown cane sugar
50 ml port wine (preferred kind: Ruby port)
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from an untreated lemon), about 1 tablespoon
1) In a large pot, cook the tomatoes until the skin comes off (this takes about 10 min). Drain the tomatoes under cold water and immediately take off their skin. In a blender, process the tomatoes. Transfer the tomato sauce back into your cooking pot.
2) Stir in the sugar, port wine and season with cinnamon, cloves and the grated lemon zest. Bring to a boil at maximum heat and cook for 5-10 min. Stir well while you keep the jam at high temperature.
3) As soon as the texture becomes jelly, lower the heat and simmer for another 5-10 min.
4) Sterilize the glass jars by dipping them in boiling water or by pouring hot water over them. Use a pair of tongs, you can easily burn your fingers.
5) Fill in the jam up to the top of the jar and fix the lid tightly. For my jars I used rubber rings and metal clamps, a normal lid will do as well.
6) Store the jam in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. Sealed jars should last you at least 6 months.
Add a pinch of pepper and chili powder for a little kick.