It is almost summer and the prices of tomatoes have been going down, about P40 per kilo, or less than a dollar. I have always loved the summer season with its bounty of tomatoes. I use copious amounts since this is one vegetable/fruit that I really like, cooked and fresh.
After eating some salami and cheese the other day, my mom reminded me of the tomato jam we had in Barcino with the deli plate. And after having bought some tomatoes on buy one take one promo (Yay, so it was technically only P20 at that time), I decided I can afford to “play” and experiment with some tomatoes. It is the kind of experiment I really wouldn’t with steak, or foie gras or anything within that price range. This one i can afford.
I looked up Spanish tapas tomato and other random word searches and found tomato jam! The ingredients are merely prepared tomatoes, sugar, lemon and a bit of salt. I was thinking this was almost like chutney, but the flavors of chutney are more complex because it has more ingredients.
So after googling recipes on the internet, I found one that was simple enough that I can easily make it. The amount of sugar and kinds of sugar. But everything had a hint of lemon or some other spice like cinnamon. I decided to basically follow a recipe of 1:3 of sugar to tomatoes, then did it what I think was the best way.
First, I blanched some tomatoes, peeled them. I cut them in half to remove the seeds, but kept the seeds and pulp (for the water to be strained later. I put the halved tomatoes in a pan, poured over it the strained liquid, then added the sugar, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon. This was allowed to cook down for about 40 minutes (I actually forgot about it for a while), first 20 minutes with a cover to soften the tomatoes, the last 20 uncovered to evaporate the water to make it jam like.
Well as jams are supposed to, these should be canned. But I cooled them down and kept them in the fridge. In a small plastic container. Hey, I don’t have canning capabilities (maybe eventually). But for now, these are in the fridge. 🙂
So I eat this on a piece of cracker topped with hard cheese,with my new salami on the side. 🙂 And it is fabulous. The sugar is quite strong, but the hint of the tomato flavor is present. A little bit goes a long way, and I am glad to have worked only with 750 grams of tomatoes to begin with. 🙂
Tomato Jam Recipe
750 grams tomatoes, peeled, halved and seeded, but pulp and seeds set aside
200 to 250 grams of sugar
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon
First, prepare the tomatoes and place them in a pan. Strain the watery pulp, removing the seeds, and add tomato water in the pan as well. Add the rest of the ingredients in the pan. Allow to boil thoroughly, melting the sugar, Cook covered for 20 minutes. More of the water from the tomatoes will come out. Cook another 20 minutes uncovered to let the liquid evaporate and make it into a jam like consistency. Serve as is, or chill. Or bottle. 🙂