TOMATO & BASIL JAM

Processing: Boiling Water Canner 10 minutes
Storage: 12 months +
Yield: 8 cups per batch
    
A sweet yet savoury jam that is fabulous smothered on sourdough with cream cheese,  served alongside grilled meat, or try in cheese toasties. Yum!
   
INGREDIENTS:
2kg (4 1/2lbs) tomatoes
1 red chilli (optional)
4 garlic cloves
1 cup diced onion
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil (loosely packed)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons canning salt
6 tablespoons powdered pectin
6 cups sugar
   
METHOD:
1. Wash and core tomatoes. 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.  Combine tomatoes, chilli, garlic, onion, basil, vinegar, lemon juice, zest and salt in a large pan.
2, Prepare jars by covering with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes while you prepare the jam. Once the  time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in canner until ready to fill.
3. Make jam by whisking the pectin into the tomato mixture. Bring to a high boil then add the sugar all at once. Bring to a rolling boil (it may foam) and boil as hard as possible for 1 minute. Then turn the heat off. Discard foam.
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. Immediately ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct, then wipe rims with damp paper towel then seal.
6. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
7. The next day: check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up nor down when pressed.

NOTES:
  • Try fresh oregano instead of basil (use 1/4 cup loosely packed oregano);
  • Add extra chilli, to taste;
  • Try using cherry tomatoes;
  • Use raw sugar in your jam and try using a low-sugar pectin instead - add sugar to taste.

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