Too many tomatoes on hand? Refrigerating and freeze canning is just the ticket to save them. Doing things in the moment normally results in the best tasting foods. This tomato jam was just that, and because I had more tomatoes than I could eat, the easiest thing to do was to get them in jars to freeze for recipes and appetizers.
It is a sweet and savory version and very simple for a couple of jars to pull out of the fridge as an appetizer with cheeses and crackers at the last moment. With most of the list probably in your pantry already, this is very simple to cook and you will have not wasted one tomato.
- Tomatoes – 16 oz baskets
- 2 large Onions – (or more)
- 4-6 cloves Garlic
- 1/4 C Brown Sugar or any sweeteners (optional)
- 1/2 C – Wine (optional)
- 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Rosemary (or to taste)
- 1 tsp Oregano (or to taste)
- Juice of half a Lemon
Tomatoes: Wash them well. No, I did not peel the tomatoes which makes this even an easier recipe. Sometimes the texture of the skins aren’t so bad in jams. With this recipe, skins on work as they were the small cherry type tomatoes and just too small to do so.
Chop the onions and get them into a pot and saute them until they are tender. Add the tomatoes, herbs, sugar, and vinegar, until the tomatoes are soft and broken up. I added the juice of half a lemon at this point. Add wine *optional* . Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until it is rendered down and has the consistency of thick jam. Be patient. The longer you render down, the thicker it gets.
Adjust your seasoning at this point. Ladle into sterilized jars (**see below). Cool and refrigerate or freeze.
In the refrigerator it will last about two weeks or so.
*This recipe is not a water bath or pressure cook canning recipe. It is merely an easy refrigerator/freezer canning recipe. There is a difference! You should never dry shelf jams unless water-bath or pressure cook canning has been used.
**Jars: Sterilize the jars! It isn’t hard. Some dishwashers have a sterilize setting, but what is easier and faster is to submerge them into boiling water for a good 10 minutes. I use Mason jars and use tongs to put them in and take them out of the hot water.
Whenever packing hot foods into the jars, make sure the jar is hot or at least very warm. You can do this by running the jars under water and microwaving them for 30 seconds or more depending on your microwave. Doing this prevents the jars from possibly cracking when loading the hot foods into them. Cool after packing then refrigerate or freeze.
This recipe used cherry tomatoes because that is just what I had but the best are Roma or Plum tomatoes.
To know when the cooked tomatoes have become jam is when you can run your utensil on the bottom of the pot and the mixture stays put.
This is great on biscuits or crackers with a savory flavor. Add more spices and herbs to get where you want with taste. With Brie, it is wonderful served up as an appetizer. Use it on meat with a bit of rosemary.