AUGUST 20, 2010 More: VACATION UPDATE
If you're like a lot of gardeners you planted more tomatoes than you really need. Around this time of the year you may be looking for something to do with the summer's bounty. Well here ya go: a real easy and delicious recipe for...yep, tomato jam.
As you can see, it looks lovely, and has a surprisingly delicious flavor. The tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar make for an almost too-sweet taste, but the chopped basil has enough of an edge to cut the sweetness just enough.
Mine ended up a little bit runny. Next batch I may add a little pectin per Joanne's suggestion. I think I'd like the texture to be more like jelly and less like sauce.
I'm also thinking that I'll try straining out the tomato chunks and seeds before mixing in the basil, mostly because I think you'll see the jewel-like deep red color more clearly.
1-1/2 lbs. tomatoes (about 6 medium to large), chopped.*
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped cinnamon basil (I used regular basil from my garden)
Simmer the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar in a pot until it reaches a jam-like consistency, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Jam will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat and add chopped basil.
The original recipe from today's Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests spreading on lamb chops, burgers or on baguettes with French goat cheese. I'm thinking cream cheese and this jam on a bagel will make a mighty fine breakfast or snack.
* I peeled the tomatoes, sliced them into quarters and squeezed the juice and seeds into a strainer. The liquid that seeped through gave me a small glass of tomato juice and the pulp went into the compost. I chopped only the "meat" of the tomatoes, making it quicker to boil down.
To easily peel tomatoes, make a small x-shaped cut into the end of each opposite the stem. Drop them into boiling water for a few seconds, then into ice water. The skins slip right off (also end up in the compost pile).
I don't want to give away too much, but if you're a friend of mine you might see this jam around Christmas time.
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— August 1, 2010