This Smoky Spiced Tomato Jam Recipe just may be the most favorite thing I have ever canned. It has a depth to it from melting the tomatoes slowly in dark brown sugar, a little tinge of smoke from the paprika and a little earthy bite from the bits of toasted cumin.
I am also thrilled to partner with Earlywood for this post. I reached out to them initially because of their beautiful French Rolling Pins, but then we started talking, one thing led to another and they sent me some of their mini cutting boards and mini spreaders, in addition to that coveted French Rolling Pin and some other Earlywood goodies. While I am being compensated for this post, their beautiful and functional products speak for themselves.
I just really enjoy canning.
It's that simple.
I love putting up seasonal produce for those times when it isn't their season.
I love all the different colors of canned yumminess in my pantry…it just really says ‘this is Lynn's pantry'.
I love how the process of cooking down your fruits or veggies changes their textures and flavors into something equally enticing as, but totally different from the fresh version.
I love how I can reuse my jar stash, reducing what I add to our landfills.
I am assured by knowing exactly what comes out of the jars since I put everything in them.
While I stick to the basics of a recipe for safety reasons, I do love playing with the spices and other flavoring ingredients to create something unexpected.
And I really love giving gifts from my kitchen, especially my preserves.
And I've got to say, Earlywood's Mini Cutting Boards and Small Spreaders make a great accompaniment to a jar of my homemade Smoky Spiced Tomato Jam. Not to get too poetic here, but I can't imagine a more appropriate way to gift or serve this earthy jam than with beautiful earthy wood pieces…they just go together so well.
Now, let's talk about this recipe.
These jars of Smoky Spiced Tomato Jam check all the boxes. It's tomato season, so taking this abundant fruit, changing it into something unexpected and then filling my jars with the resulting jam was something that just had to happen.
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Before we dive into this Smoky Spiced Tomato Jam recipe, let me give a little caveat here. I will experiment with just about ANYTHING, except when I am canning. There is a part of me that thinks that the USDA might be a tad overboard on putting the fear of God into everyone when it comes to canning. But botulism is a real thing and I’m not one to tempt it.
So, when I ‘invent’ a canning recipe, I usually rely pretty heavily on tried and true sources, only altering those things that don’t affect Ph which is especially important when water bath canning.
For this recipe, I relied on Marisa McClellan's Food in Jars for the basics and then put my spin on it.
That Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing again.
With a dash of smoked paprika and a helping of toasted cumin seeds, this Smoky Spiced Tomato Jam elevates your cheese and cracker tray, your grilled cheese sandwich, pizza or anything else for that matter!
Combine all ingredients in a large, stainless steel jam pan.
Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to simmer
Simmer the jam, stirring frequently until it reduces such that you can run a spoon through it and the jam doesn't quickly fill the void left by the spoon. This will take approximately 2 hours. I had to turn on and off the heat when I couldn't watch it and mine took closer to 3.5 hours.
Remove the pot from the stove and spoon the jam into your prepared jars.
I really like a wide mouth canning funnel for this step.
Wipe the rims with vinegar, apply your gaskets, lids, and clips if using Weck or your rims and lids if using Ball/Kerr.
Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Let rest, undisturbed for 24 hours after removing from the water bath.
Refrigerate any jars that don't seal correctly. The gasket tab on the Weck Jars will point downward when sealed and the lid on the Ball Jar will sink in when sealed.
Leave 1/2" headspace.
Note that serving size in Nutrition Facts is for one pint jar of Tomato Jam.
What's the difference between Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning? Water Bath Canning can be used as a preserving method when canning high acid foods like most fruits, pickles, jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters. The acids in these high acid foods can destroy and inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria, like botulism. Low acid foods, on the other hand, don't have enough acid to counter any potential bacteria, so need to be heated at higher a higher heat to kill the bacteria. A pressure canner allows the water to be heated to 240 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
The term “pH” is a measure of acidity; the lower its value, the more acid the food. The acidity level in foods can also be increased by adding lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar. I am not comfortable ‘creating' recipes from scratch; opting instead to use tried and true recipes and merely altering spices, flavorings and the like.
What causes the ‘pop' that signals a successful canning process?
In a nutshell, when you heat your filled canning jars in a pressure canner or boiling water bath canner, pressure builds inside the jars. During the cooling process, the air pressure decreases again.which causes the lids to seal on the jars. The popping sound indicates that the seal on the lid has closed tightly over the jars, as a ‘vacuum' is being formed from the changing air pressure.
What do you do if your Ball/Kerr lids don't ‘pop' or your Weck gasket tabs don't ‘point' down?
If you lids don't pop or your gaskets don't seal, then you don't have the necessary seal to store your jars at room temperature and you need to either re-process them or put them in your refrigerator or freezer.
Can you recycle glass canning jars?
Can you reuse the metal lids and rings on Ball/Kerr Jars?
NO!!! Not for canning, however I keep some used ones, which I mark with a sharpie so I know they have been used, for everyday storage and freezing.
Let's take another minute to dwell on these Earlywood Mini Cutting Boards and Mini Spatulas.
Like I said, I discovered Earlywood because of their French Rolling Pins but then when I received my Earlywood goodie box, I quickly became enamored with their mini cutting boards and small spreaders. Obviously, I think they are a great way to serve cheese and crackers and as part of a jam or preserve gift; if you've known me for long, you know that I do like to pair my kitchen gifts with a serving piece of some sort.
But the possible uses of these little trays are many! How lovely would they be as bread ‘plates' at your dinner table? As a coaster? A sushi plate? A spoon rest? Or, if you just needed to slice 1 lime, why pull out your big bulky cutting board when you could use one of these much smaller ones?
And those small spreaders? Once again, great for gifting with a jar of jam and as a spreader for soft cheeses, butters, nut butters, hummus, etc…
I can easily see buying one or two sets of each to have on hand and pairing a cutting board and a spreader as a hostess gift, housewarming gift, a last minute gift and Christmas Gifts…perfect to keep in my gift stash.
The great folks at Earlywood are offering up a set of the mini trays as a giveaway…so pop over to their site to enter and while you are there, get to know Brad who creates all of the Earlywood products out of his 8′ by 10′ workshop in the wilderness of Red Lodge, Montana. And not for nothing, Brad is dedicated to doing his part in reforestation, planting 100 saplings for every 1 tree they use in their production.
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