Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tomato Jam

Oh tomatoes. The season could never be long enough. Every year they pop up at the market and seeing them is such a sign of summer’s height. So many colours, so many flavours! Stripes, spots, round and oblong, big and small. It’s dizzying and amazing and we always come home with more than necessary, yet never have trouble eating every last one. As happy as this time is, their arrival also brings the recognition that summer is on the wane. Once tomatoes, corn and peaches are here, we know that squash and apples and pears are soon to follow. That basil has a limited time left, that berries are nearly over.

So what to do with the knowledge that cooler weather is lurking around the corner? Preserve that tomato goodness to enjoy in the middle of rainy winter, of course! 

Tomato jam may be somewhat lesser known, but tomatoes are a fruit, after all, and their sweet, acidic flesh creates a beautifully balanced preserve. At home we’ve been known to muck about with all manner of tomato jam, but for Sticky Spoon we stuck to a classic red tomato jam with warm spices, citrus juice and just a pinch of chili flake. The resulting jam is sweet and tangy and ever so slightly spiced. Think of it as a tomato condiment for a grown up palate.

Our men are particularly fond of this jam with grilled sausages and on burgers, though it is also rather lovely with nice, sharp cheddar on crackers or in a grilled cheese sandwich. This is a personal favourite, as it is extremely versatile. Eggs are a natural partner, and we’ve even used it to add a bit of zip to our fajitas.

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