Making jam is a time consuming task. Firstly you have to take some time for cleaning and preparing the fruit and then you have to heat the sugar and fruit mixture and wait for the sugar reaching its setting point. But the end result is really worth it.
If someone asks me which jam I like the most, I will have some difficulty in identifying just one. But I am sure that I will pick tomato jam as being amongst my top preferences. Today's jam recipe is very simple to make and is one of my favorites. Perhaps because when I think of this recipe I associate it with some good memories of both my mother and myself making jam on Summer afternoons. On those times, many years ago, we made enough jam for all year round. I loved to help my mother peeling and seeding the tomatoes. I remember how our home would be filled with the sweet and warm aromas from the cinnamon. It was a delightful fragrance. When the jam was ready to eat, I was summoned to taste it. What a lovely sensation! Such pleasant and memorable recollections, all due to tomato jam!
2kg peeled and seeded tomatoes
1kg light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch of salt
A drizzle of olive oil
1. Place the tomatoes in a saucepan. Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Whiz the tomatoes with a stick blender and add the sugar, cinnamon, salt and olive oil. Let it boil until the sugar reaches the correct setting point. Spoon a little jam onto a cold saucer. After a couple of minutes gently push your finger through the jam and if the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, let the sugar and tomato mixture boil for a couple of minutes more. Don't forget to stir occasionally.
3. Put the jam in glass flasks while it is still very hot and close them almost immediately.
To peel the tomatoes, you just have to make two cuts at the base of the tomato (like a X). Then parboil them for a few minutes. The skin will come off easily.
The zest of one lemon can also be added to this jam recipe. If you prefer, you can avoid blending the tomatoes.
This jam has a beautiful strong reddish color due to the tomato and light brown sugar mixture. Its flavor is simple delicious. Here at home, we easily eat it in a piece of bread or bagel generously spread with spoon after spoon of jam! A treat from which, one cannot run away!
[ Originally published in Portuguese as Doce de tomate e as memórias das tardes de Verão ]