A few years ago, my friend Andrea (from milk escapades a few entries ago) encouraged me to enter my pickles in our local county fair. A couple of weeks later, she encouraged me to enter more pickles to another fair. Along with the pickles, my husband told me to enter a jar of Sweet Tomato Jam, a recipe I was loath to make let alone enter in a fair competition. The only reason I made it was because we had about 10 cherry tomato plants, that were very prolific, and I had to do something with those tomatoes! Well, that sweet Tomato Jam was a Best in Show that year. So when the tomato staples are covered, and the tomatoes are still coming in, I make a few batches of this:
Sweet Tomato Jam
· 4-5 lbs tomatoes, peeled
· 4-6 chili peppers, deseeded and sliced thin (amount depends upon how hot you want to make this)
· 1 ½ “ piece of ginger root, grated
· 1 medium head of garlic, peeled and chopped
· 3 lemons, zested and juiced
· 1 small shallot, minced
· 4 C sugar
1. Chop the tomatoes and transfer juice and all into a large non-reactive pot.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
3. When it starts to simmer, turn the heat up to boil off the excess water. Continue cooking until the mixture turns translucent (this could take up to 3 hours). The jam tends to stick, so stirring regularly is necessary and constant stirring is required at the end of the cooking process.
4. Ladle hot jam into hot jars and process.
5. Leave jam to rest for at least 1 month before eating. This pairs very nicely with goat cheese, and makes a wonderful glaze for pork or chicken.