TOMATO & BASIL JAM

A sweet yet savoury jam that is fabulous smothered on sourdough with ricotta or cream cheese, served alongside grilled meat, or try in cheese toasties. Yum!

Ingredients for TOMATO & BASIL JAM

Yield: 3-4 cups
Yield: 7-8 cups
Tomatoes
1kg (2.2 pounds)
2kg (4 1/2 pounds)
Onion, Finely Diced
1/2 cup
1 cup
Fresh Garlic, Finely Minced
2 teaspoons
4 teaspoons
Red Chilli (Optional)
1/2
1
Fresh Basil, Finely Chopped
(Loosely Packed)
3 tablespoons
1/3 cup
Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons
1/4 cup
Lemon Juice
(Fresh or Bottled)
1/4 cup
1/2 cup
Lemon Zest
1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons
Salt, Finely Ground
1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons
Powdered Pectin
(i.e. JamSetta)
3 tablespoons
(i.e. 1 packet JamSetta)
6 tablespoons
(i.e. 2 packets JamSetta)
Sugar, White
3 cups
6 cups
     
METHOD:  
1. Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
2. Wash and core tomatoes and drain well. Place on an oven tray in a single layer with the chilli (if using), garlic and onion and roast until skins fall away. Run tomatoes through a food mill or sieve to discard skins and seeds. Finely dice onion, chilli and finely mince garlic.  
3. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill. 
4. Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
5. Combine tomatoes, chilli, garlic, onion, basil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt in a large pan. Mix well. 
6. Whisk the pectin into the tomato mixture. Bring to a high (hard) boil then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil (it may foam) and boil as hard as possible for 1 minute. 
7. Check jam has achieved gel stage. Cook for a further minute or two and check gel stage again if required.
8. Discard any foam that appears on the surface of the jam. 
9. Immediately ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, filling to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim.
10. Using a non-metal utensil, remove any air pockets and add more jam if required.
11. Wipe rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue.
12. Add pre-warmed lids and twist to secure.
13. Place sealed jars into a pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes to a full boil.
14. Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
15. The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating.
16. Store jars of tomato & basil jam in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months (lower-sugar jam will not keep as long). Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed. 
17. Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 6-8 weeks.
   
Processing Time for TOMATO & BASIL JAM in a Boiling Water Canner
Jar
Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 500ml
(pints)
5
minutes
10 minutes
10 minutes
15 minutes
    
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
o Roma (plum) tomatoes are best for this jam, because they’re juicier than regular garden (round) tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes can also be used;
o Red, yellow or multi-coloured tomatoes can be used (other colours will change the jam colour);
o Chillies are optional but add a lovely heat! You can add double chilli or use a hotter chilli variety if desired;
o Try different basil varieties i.e. lemon basil;
o Try fresh oregano instead of basil;
o Use a little bit of fresh thyme instead of basil;
o Limes can be used instead of lemons in this recipe;
o For a milder onion flavour, use white or red onions in this recipe;
o Replace balsamic vinegar with apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or white vinegar.
    
NOTES:
o Low-sugar, no-pectin jam: prepare ingredients according to recipe, using 1 whole lemon, finely diced (2 lemons for the larger yield) instead of lemon juice and zest and omitting the pectin. Tie seeds in muslin cloth if desired. Mix, cover and rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, boil mixture until set, removing muslin seed bag and then bottling by following the processing method described above;
o Low-sugar, pectin jam: use no/low-sugar pectin instead to reduce the sugar in the recipe to 1/2 cup using sugar, honey or stevia (to taste), and then follow the main recipe above. Remember reducing the sugar does affect the jam consistency so trial with a small batch of jam first;
o Remove tomato seeds from your jam by running through a fine sieve after roasting (before adding the sugar). This also reduces any bitterness;
o Tomato skins and seeds can be left in, if desired;
o Test jam has set by spooning onto a cold saucer: if it "gels" it is set.
o Replace half a cup (or to taste) of the sugar with your favourite honey.
    
SERVING IDEAS:
o Add to baked beans;
o BLT;
o Bruschetta or biscuits topped with tomato jam and cream cheese;
o Cheese platter;
o Chicken, brie and tomato sandwich;
o Ciabatta with tomato jam and roasted beef slices;
o Garlic bagel with cream cheese;
o Grilled cheese sandwiches;
o Meat glaze (i.e. ham, roast beef, pork or chicken);
o Meatloaf (instead of tomato/bbq sauce);
o Mix with avocado for a relish alternative;
o Mix with cream cheese for a dip;
o Pizza/flatbread base topped with caramelised onions, blue cheese and greens;
o Roasted vegetables;
o Salad dressing (i.e. vinaigrette);
o Sandwich/toastie filled with chicken, tomato jam and fresh greens;
o Serve on a bowl of white beans;
o Serve with bacon and eggs;
o Sourdough with tomato jam, caramelised onions and turkey;
o Spread on toast, crumpets, English muffins or biscuits;
o Stir-fry;
o Stuffed chicken or pork;
o Top crab cakes or sweet chilli corn fritters.
  
Author: Megan Radaich          Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

       
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