Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yellow Pear Tomato Jam

Since we have such an abundance of the yellow pear tomatoes, I went searching for things to make with them.  Apparently this tomato plant is very prolific for most people because I saw things come up in my search such as "What to do with a gazillion yellow pear tomatoes."  I followed the link to several of those, which took me to a few different forums, where people responded with what they like to do with them, and there were even a few recipes.  The one I found for Yellow Pear Tomato Jam is one of those.  I have to say that I am VERY glad that I wrote the recipe down, because right now, I have no idea where the forum or thread is where I originally saw the recipe...or the couple of others that I also wrote down.  The taste of this jam is very different...but I like it quite a bit.  The poster of the recipe had recommended eating it with goat cheese and crackers.  I think that would be great...or with cream cheese, possibly even on a biscuit, but it is definitely not something you would eat with peanut butter on a sandwich!

Anyway, here's the recipe:
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
6 cups yellow pear tomatoes (the recipe didn't say to, but I went ahead and roughly chopped them)
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (I used Hungarian hot peppers which are larger, but not as hot)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar

1.)  In a 6 qt saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer until the syrup reaches 234F on a cooking thermometer.  (If I remember correctly, this is the soft ball stage.)

2.)  Remove from heat and add tomatoes, mixing well.  The syrup may change consistency, but keep stirring and eventually the tomatoes will mix evenly.

3.)  Return to the heat and add the chilies, basil, lemon juice and vinegar.  Simmer, uncovered, on very low heat until the mixture thickens, about 1.5 to 2 hours.  Stir often, being careful not to burn.  The jam will darken.

4.)  Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Cap and seal.

5.)  Process 15 min in a boiling water bath canner.
The middle jar is the yellow pear tomato jam.

A couple of notes:  This recipe yielded 2.5 pints.  It is not necessary to blanch and peel the tomatoes before starting.  The poster of the recipe said that the peels of these tomatoes would just melt away and she was right.  When I made this, the jam didn't seem to be setting up so I added pectin...a whole box.  I shouldn't jam is VERY stiff.  It still tastes great, but it is very stiff.  Next time I will only add, at most, half a box, or maybe just try the recipe the way it is written.  The part about the jam darkening...I did notice this some while I was cooking, but when it REALLY darkened up was while it was processing in the canner.  The jars came out MUCH darker than they went in.  I'm glad I was warned or I might have been afraid that it was ruined!