Last year we started growing heirloom Ivory Egg tomatoes using plants we bought at Debaggio’s, our favorite herb farm and nursery. They always have a fantastic selection of healthy plants, and we ended up with 20 tomato plants, 4 tomatillo plants, 6 bell pepper plants, and 12 hot pepper plants. That may sound crazy, but we’ve been expanding our garden a little each year and we have plenty of space for all of those. Plus we were hedging our bet that some of the plants wouldn’t make it and we wanted to ensure there would be some stuff to pick. We got that in spades. So far we’ve put up almost 40 quarts of tomatoes in soup, salsa, and sauces. The tomatoes are slowing down a bit now, but several of the plants are still producing well, including the Ivory Eggs….
It’s rich and complex, not your average tomato jam. The cinnamon and cloves spice it up, but the ruby port makes all the difference between an average jam and a memorable jam. It’s good by itself on toast, crackers, or baguette slices, and even better with sheep or goat cheese.
The recipe comes from the newly released The New Portuguese Table (review) by award-winning author David Leite, a book combining culinary tradition with modern flavors. In his version, Leite reduced the sugar considerably, leaving plenty of room for the flavor of the tomatoes to shine. We used our homegrown Cherokee Purple tomatoes, a rich rose-purple colored heirloom. We had several of them ripen at once, giving us the perfect opportunity to try them in this jam. The tomatoes have a sweet, rich flavor that works perfectly with the spices and port….