Perfect time for Cherry Tomato Jam

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Elizabeth’s  Spicy Tomato Jam

Capture summer in a jar to have in your pantry all year round- that is if it lasts that long.This Jam is delicious- family and friends adore it. It has become a staple new condiment on Chef Elizabeth’s table. We especially love it with eggs- any way –
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Ways to Use Spicy Tomato Jam:

Use it wherever you would use ketchup- Grilled and Barbecued meats and fish
Use on Hamburgers, hot dogs or vegan burgers
Add to soups to give a punch of heat
Add to sandwich fillings- tuna or chicken
Grilled Sandwiches, paninis, fajitas, baguette or pita toasts
Serve on your cheese board or with charcuterie
Serve with your favourite egg dishes-

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The real secret to fabulous preserves is to taste as you go and to season to your taste.

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Tomato Jam

I love this jam because it does not call for peeling or seeding the tomatoes- you can use any variety you choose – just alter the cooking time for watery tomatoes.  I keep a canning journal to keep track of additions or alterations to the recipe and to record yield.

Yield: Roughly one 8 ounce jar per pound  of tomatoes used.
The yield  varies depending on the kind of tomato used.  If the tomatoes seem very watery, after dicing place in a colander and let drain for 30 minutes. Reserve the juice for your Bloody Mary’s. Make sure to use a  thick, non-reactive heavy bottomed pan. Also remember that  the width of the  can impact the cooking time and  finished thickness, due to evaporation.  You can make this in a slow cooker- but please remember to stir as you go. Things can burn, even in a crock pot. I use a heat diffuser on my gas stove as I find it hard to get a consistent low flame.

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Elizabeth’s  Spicy Tomato Jam

Ingredients:

5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped or processed-
3 1/2  cups white sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2- 3/4 cup lemon or  lime juice
6-8 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
1-2 Hot Chillies – cayenne, jalapeño, or red (optional)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, check the seasoning and add more of any ingredient you prefer. Simmer the mixture  until it reduces to a jam -like consistency. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat. This also depends on how watery the tomatoes were and how much acid you decide to use. I prefer a tart jam so I add the maximum suggested amount. This gives it a longer cooking time.
When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. If you omit this step make sure to keep the jam refrigerated.
Use a time- it is a canner’s best friend. Remove  the jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals.   LABEL them immediately – we all forget what is in that jar. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
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