By now, most of you know that I am participating in a year-long canning group hosted by Tigress over at Tigress in a Jam. The rules are simple. Each month, someone picks an ingredient, and everyone has a few weeks to create something with that ingredient, can it using a water bath canner, and post it on their blogs. Here’s the run down of the past seven months:
January: Citrus- I made blood orange port marmalade
February: Carrots- I made a gajar ki chutney with caramelized shallots
March: Alliums- I made an onion, apple ale relish
April: Herbs- I made a strawberry rhubarb rosemary jam
May: Rhubarb- I made a spiced rhubarb jam June:
Berries- I made my famous Chinese 5 spice pickled cherries
July: Cucurbits- I made 5 different pickles and relishes: spicy garlic dill cucumber slices, bread and butta cucumber slices, bbq zucchini relish, spicy garlic dill cucumber relish, and Indian cucumber relish
And here we are in August. I have been dying to make this since the herb challenge, but tomatoes weren’t in season back then. Now they are, and here it is: my tomato basil jam. Not only is it delicious on its own, but it makes the perfect easy bbq appetizer- just top a cracker with your favorite cheese (I used goat cheese and marinated mozzarella) and finish with the tomato basil jam. The combination of salty and sweet is ridiculously addictive and perfect to awaken the taste buds for the rest of a kick-ass bbq.
More food porn and the recipe after the jump.
Recipe: Leena’s Tomato Basil Jam
Summary: Inspired by a recipe from the book Gourmet Preserves Chez Madeleine by Madeleine Bullwinkel
- 3 pounds of ripe, locally grown organic heirloom tomatoes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest and juice from two lemons
- 1 bunch of basil leaves, separated from the stems
- Balsamic vinegar to taste (I used 3 tablespoons)
- Place a clean, small plate in the freezer for future use.
- Peel the tomatoes. To do this, I dipped them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then into a bowl of ice water to cool it down. Then I used a small paring knife to easily remove the skin, which was loosened by this process.
- Seed the tomatoes over a sieve to save the juices, and coarse chop the tomatoes. The tomato chunks and juices should equal roughly 4 abundant cups.
- Put the tomato and juices into a large nonreactive pot with lid and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and simmer the liquid for 30 minutes or until it is reduced to 2 1/2-3 cups and no longer has excess moisture.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, puree half of the basil leaves with half of the lemon juice.
- Add the lemon zest and non-basil lemon juice to the tomato mixture, and then begin adding sugar 1/2 cup at a time, letting it come to a boil before adding the next installment. Cook, stirring frequently, for ten minutes, until the jam thickens. The temperature should be around 210 degrees F.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon-basil juice. Take the plate from the freezer and place a spoonful of jam on it. Put back in freezer for 2 minutes, then taste test cooled jam for sweet and sour balance. Add more lemon juice or some balsamic vinegar to help balance the sweetness, and test again. When the jam is seasoned properly, cut the remaining basil into a chiffonade (thin strips), then fold into jam.
- Fill jam into hot, clean, sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Top with lids and rings, and process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes for half pint and 4 oz jelly jars. Let cool completely before storing in a cool dark place for up to one year. Or, if you don’t want to can this recipe, simply store in an airtight container in the fridge for three months.
Microformatting by hRecipe.