I was certainly inspired to this jam by Marisa at Food In Jars. I had just enough tomatoes on hand, 5 lbs, to give this a try. I have been called a food snob. I can be kind of picky. Mostly I have a strong sense of how something will taste, to me, even while reading about it, this jam appealed to me in so many ways, except one. Everyone tastes things a little bit differently, and while we often can’t understand how someone could hate, say, chocolate, if we take in to account that some people have more taste buds (they are called supertasters) and some people have very few (non-tasters), it begins to make sense. I try, really try, to like everything, certain flavor fusions just don’t work for me.
Okay, I’m picky. I switched out lime to lemon and used allspice, coriander, paprika and tiny bit of cinnamon (that spice blend is called Kharpeth in Middle Eastern/ Armenian markets) and following suit, used Aleppo pepper flakes, which are a deep, smokey, spicy, Turkish pepper. I also switched fresh ginger to dried. The overall flavor is probably very much like the one in Food in Jars, and is not Middle Eastern tasting at all. And you most likely do not have the same weird food issues as I do, so make both!
I have a hubby who will not eat ketchup, can’t stand it. He loves this jam. It goes so well with really good American fare, soft, smelly cheeses, biscuits, even buckwheat crepes, caramelized onions and goat cheese! It has just the right balance of sweet, spice, earthy tomato, and a hint of lemon.
Makes about 5 1/2pints
5 lbs tomatoes, chopped (do not peel them, doesn’t that make it so much easier?)
3 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (use organic, with out additives if you can)
1/2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp Kharpeth mix (or combine allspice, coriander, paprika, cinnamon to taste)
1/4 tsp clove
1 tbls Aleppo pepper flakes
1 tbls salt
Put chopped tomatoes into a large stock pot over medium heat, add all ingredients except salt, stir to combine. This will take at least an hour to cook down and thicken into jam. No need to test for proper set, unless you want, it will be obvious when the tomatoes are cooked and reduced. Continue stirring frequently. Once cooked down and thickened, add salt, turn off heat.
Ready your jars and lids. Ladle jam into jars (eat now what doesn’t fit!) place lids and rings on properly and process in boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. Once done, turn heat off, leave lid on, for another 5 minutes, this assures a good seal.
Place jars where they will be undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Do not tighten rings.
Store properly by testing for seal, removing rings, wiping jars down of any food seepage then storing in a cool, dry place.