From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Last month I received an email from a reader who had a special request. I now have 3,000 recipes on One Perfect Bite and she asked if I could sift through them and pick those my family most enjoyed or share the ones I thought were exceptional. I've been giving her suggestion some serious thought, and while I haven't yet committed to the undertaking, I've been taking a more than cursory look at the recipes that I've already featured here. The recipe for Tomato Jam is one I pulled while sorting through my condiment collection. It will seem an odd choice to many, but it was first featured because it was an unusual way to use the tomatoes that drip off vines at this time of year. The jam was originally a summer-only spread, but now that Roma are available year round, I make the jam whenever I get a hankering. When I work with winter tomatoes, I store them in a brown paper bag and let them sit in the pantry until they are blood red and fully ripe. If I'm patient and let them ripen, the winter tomatoes are every bit as good as their summer cousins, and I can enjoy my jam year round. The spread makes delightfully simple appetizers. Crusty peasant bread is sliced and lightly toasted before being schmeared with cream cheese and topped with spiced tomato jam. While this homely treat may not be fit for the queen of England, your king and mine will enjoy finger food that bears no resemblance to tea sandwiches. The jam is easy to make and is nearly foolproof, but it must be watched and stirred to prevent scorching. I do hope you'll give this simple recipe a try. Here is how my Tomato Jam is made.
Tomato Jam...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (Roma are best), cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced, or red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
1) Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan, Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
2) Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cool and refrigerate until ready to use; this will keep at least a week. Mine keeps up to 3 weeks. Yield: 1 pint.
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