Green Tomato Jam
Green varietal that is, not unripe. I discovered Tomato Jam this season and decided to do a little experiment with some Green Zebras I picked from my backyard.
Since I had never made Tomato Jam before this season, I started with recipes from Andrea Myers and the NY Times. Personally, I prefer Andrea’s recipe for flavor and to make and can the jam, but the NY Times recipe gave me ideas.
After making 2 batches of variations of the linked recipes, I started to want something different, and at the same time was wondering what to do with the Green Zebras I picked. I remembered the mention of ginger and thought it would be a great combination with the bright flavor of these tomatoes, so I got to work.
This recipe yields 5-6 8oz canned jars. Don’t let canning be a barrier for trying this. Essentially, it is equal parts sugar and peeled, seeded tomatoes (I prefer a little less sugar as seen below), plus the remaining ingredients to taste preferences. If you don’t want to make candied ginger, it can be found at your local market. An unprocessed jar or two can be made and kept refrigerated for a week or more, if it isn’t eaten up before then.
* 5 C. ripe Green Zebra (or other green varietal heirloom tomato), peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
* 4 1/2 C. Sugar
* 1 C. Crystallized (Candied) Ginger, finely chopped
* 1 Cinnamon Stick
* Lemon zest from 2 medium lemons, removed with a vegetable peeler
Combine the tomatoes, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and zest in a 5 to 8 quart saucepan*
Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that accumulates on top. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir more frequently as the jam thickens, simmering approximately 1 hour.
If you are canning, while the jam cooks, sterilize the jars and rings in the canning pot. When the jam is ready, ladle some of the boiling water into a small bowl and put the lids in to soften the rubber.
To test the jam to see if it’s ready, put a small plate or bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then dollop a spoonful of jam on top and put in the refrigerator for 2 minutes. If it gels, it’s ready.
Once the jam is ready, remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick and lemon zest.
Using the jar lifter or tongs, remove the jars from the water, keeping the water boiling. Using the wide-mouth funnel, carefully ladle the hot jam into the jars and leave 1/4-inch of room at the top. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth, place the lids on top, and screw on the bands until finger tight.
Lower the jars back into the pot and make sure they are covered by at least an inch of water. Once the water returns to a boil, process in the water bath for 5 minutes.
Transfer the jars to a heat resistant surface and let cool completely, undisturbed. When the jars seal properly, you will hear a distinctive “ping”, or you can test by touch (once cool) to be sure the lids are fully depressed. If they did not seal properly, refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks. Properly sealed and processed jam will store for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place.
Refrigerate after opening.
*I like to use a larger pan, as it has more surface area to the heat source and cooks down more efficiently.
If you’re interested in learning more about canning, PickYourOwn.com has a good tutorial.