"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15


Margaret's tomato jam

This is fall comfort food at its best!
My friend Margaret shared this recipe with me, after I tasted hers and absolutely had to make my own.
It's really easy! My recipe yielded 6 pints.

Here's what you'll need:
5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped (got some fab looking ones at a local farm stand since mine haven't even ripened yet!)
3 1/2 cups sugar (I know. But it's so worth it.)
8 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes

In my opinion, it could use a bit more ginger and chili flakes... but that's just me. :)

You'll also need 5 or 6 pint canning jars, plus rings and new lids, a boiling water canner, and basic supplies as desired (jar lifters and funnels sure are handy).
I imagine you could freeze this if you don't want to can it... let me know if you try it!

Combine all ingredients in a big ole pot.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer until it becomes a sticky, jammy mess. The recipe says this will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours depending how high you keep the heat. Now, when I'm told to simmer, I set my gas stove about as low as it goes. After a good two hours at this temperature, my jam was more like tomato juice. So I kicked that heat up to about 3 on my range, and within a half hour or so it thickened up beautifully. 

Maybe simmer means something different to me that it does to you, but I'd raise that temp a bit or this will take all day! Which is fine, if you have all day. Because, wow, does it make your whole house smell amazing! 

So, once it's cooked down to where you'd like it, remove from heat and fill (clean, hot) jars, leaving 1/4" of headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings (not too tight!). Process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. If you are new to canning or need more detailed instructions, the canning jars usually come with some handy little instructions. It really is easy. 

Something about having jar after jar of summer delights stacked up in my pantry makes me so happy. 

The first time I tasted this jam, Margaret had poured it over a brick of cream cheese and served it with crackers. It was to die for. 
Today I spread a bit on my grilled cheese sandwich for a simple rainy day lunch, and that sweet/savory/spiced combo was phenomenal. I can't wait to find more ways to use this delicious stuff! Wondering if it would be good on some grilled chicken for hubby? Or tossed with pasta and a little cream? Any other ideas?

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