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Monday, July 16, 2007

Tomato-Basil Jam

UPDATE 8/3/10: See the even better, less sweet, no-commercial-pectin version of this jam in my new book, Canning for a New Generation.
Tomato-Basil Jam

About 3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75-ounce) packet powdered pectin such as Sure-Jell

Sterilize 5 half-pint jars (in boiling water for at least 10 minutes). Simmer the tomatoes, covered, in a heavy 6-quart pot for 10 minutes. Measure 3 1/2 cups tomatoes and juices and return them to the pot. Add the lemon juice, zest, and basil. Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the pectin and stir it into the tomato mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in the remaining sugar. Return to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, then boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Skim off the foam with a metal spoon. Ladle hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; adjust the lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes. Makes 5 half-pint jars.

This jam is best on a toasted English muffin with cream cheese.

The lemon zest really helps brighten the flavor, but my mom's original recipe doesn't call for it. Hers uses less sugar—3 cups—and low-sugar pectin, which when I tried it yielded a pretty aggressively jellied jam; it's also processed longer, for 15 minutes, but according to a very similar recipe in So Easy to Preserve a jam with the sugar–lemon juice–tomato proportions above should need only 5 minutes.


Deborah said...

still waiting on my tomatos to mature...

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the measuring and then returning to the pot part. Does this mean measure it out and use it to mix in the pectin and zest and part of the sugar and then return that 3.5 cups back to the whole?

Also, do you think this recipe would work with White Beauty tomatoes or Purple Russians just as well? Thank you.

Liana Krissoff said...

Halima: Sorry that direction was confusing. You just want 3 1/2 cups of tomatoes and their juices in the pot—this is the amount you'll likely have at this point anyway, but you want to measure it to be sure, so that the tomato-to-sugar ratio is exact.

I'd imagine Purple Russians would work just fine. White Beauty tomatoes might be a bit too sweet here and not acidic enough.

Paddy said...

I made this jam yesterday using recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Canning 2011 book. Recipe is using 3 cups sugar. The jam has still not set and I don't know why. It's pretty liquidy and looks like it will run all over when I try to use it. The book suggests using it on a grilled cheese sandwich. Do you have other ideas?

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