Though Labor Day has passed, the heat remains here in Northern Virginia and we’re still enjoying outdoor cooking and our homegrown tomatoes, though we’ve hit a lull and possibly the end of the tomato season. We aren’t sure if it’s insects or just the extended heat wave, but the tomato plants aren’t looking good. Fortunately we had a bunch that came in all at once last week and the counters were drowning in tomatoes, so I used some of them in a small batch of spiced tomato jam and added pinot noir to give it a deeper and richer flavor. Though many tomato jams call for peeling the tomatoes, I prefer to skip that step and instead puree it all using an immersion blender. The texture comes out thick and the flavor gave a gourmet boost to our simple Labor Day grilled burgers with sautéed onions and peppers.
This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we’ve grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves. We’ll hope you’ll join us this month! Heather of Girlichef is our host for September, so be sure to read her announcement about submitting your post. If you are new to the event, you can read more about the rules for participating at the Grow Your Own page.
SPICED TOMATO JAM WITH PINOT NOIR
Makes about 16 ounces.
5-quart heavy bottom saucepan
16-ounce container with lid
3 pounds (1.36 kg) plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup (131 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) pinot noir
1 stick cinnamon
8 whole allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1. In a 5-quart saucepan, combine the tomatoes, sugar, pinot noir, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Bring it all to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the spices. Blend the jam well using the immersion blender, until the peels disappear. Transfer jam to a container with tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use. The tomato jam will keep refrigerated for 1 month.
You can peel the tomatoes, just blanch them for a few minutes in hot water, and then remove the peels. Make the jam as directed and omit the blending step.