TOMATO JAM

Makes 8–10 pint jars or 16 half-pint jars

This is a great way to use tomatoes that are a bit too ripe or that you buy as “leftovers” from farmers or markets. It requires more time to cook down the tomatoes to get the right consistency but this only intensifies that great tomato taste. And you don’t have to blanch or remove skins or seeds, so prep goes quite fast.

10 pounds ripe tomatoes (organic preferred)
2 cups cane or organic raw sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
3 teaspoons puréed fresh ginger or 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
½ to 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare jars and lids in water bath canner, as described in previous recipe. Prepare tomatoes by washing, removing core and dicing into ½-inch pieces.

Place in heavy nonreactive stockpot or enameled Dutch oven and cook on high heat, stirring constantly. When boiling, turn heat down to low and add spices. Let cook until the consistency is similar to jam. This can take from 1 to 3 hours, depending on ripeness and juiciness of tomatoes. You can test this by spooning a small amount onto a saucer, let cool and then check to see if jam remains in a pool when saucer is turned up. If it runs down the saucer, continue cooking and test again.

When ready, remove jars from boiling water and ladle jam into each. Wipe rims and seal with lids and bands. Process in water bath canner for 30 minutes after water has returned to boil.

Remove jars to a location where they can remain undisturbed for 12 hours. After 1 hour, test the lid seal and place any unsealed jars in refrigerator immediately.

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