Uses for Tomato-Peach-Jalapeño Jam
My wife and I have been getting a CSA share this summer, which of course comes with a lot of tomatoes. Neither of us are big on raw tomatoes -- even though these are much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store -- so I've been on a tomato jam-making kick. It's the best burger topping ever, and good for lots of other uses (three words: goat cheese pizza).
Anyway, on a whim, I decided to do a batch with some of the peaches and jalapeños we've been getting, too. The only problem is, I'm not sure what to do with all of it. I thought you folks might have some good ideas. It's more tomato than peach, heavy on the jalapeño, and quite sweet.
Our ideas so far:
-- mixed with cream cheese for a party dip/spread
-- glaze for chicken, pork, or salmon
-- old standby, on a burger (with ??? cheese)
Aaaand that's it. What does it make you guys (and gals) think of?
Think salt...I made a tomato jam with ginger and jalapeno and served it on a thick slab of cured and smoked heirloom pork jowel aka the best bacon you will ever have. If you don't have the time to cure pork jowel for 4 days and smoke it for 8 hours than thick sliced bacon works. Over white cheddar grits ( Anson Mills Please) and you have well......heavan.
(Below, where I list the base recipe, I'll follow with my version if you prefer to skip down.)
Let me point you to this recipe for a start:
I used this as a rough guide. Although I'm relatively new to home canning, I broke the rules and went off-recipe. However, I do know that sugar and acid are the big preserving players here, so I feel safe with my choices. If you follow my changes, you do so at your own risk.
1) Increased peaches to 4 rather large specimens.
2) Added 2 Tbsp cider vinegar to compensate for extra peaches.
3) Didn't peel the tomatoes, just washed & cored them. Another tomato jam recipe writer liked the texture, so I gave it a whirl. The texture is still very smooth.
4) Chopped everything very fine in a food processor. This is why I didn't peel the tomatoes. Also, I'm lazy and tired of peeling tomatoes.
5) Used far more chiles, maybe 8 jalapeños, varying from green to red. I knocked the seeds out, but left the membranes intact for heat. The heat is very mild offset by the sugar.
6) Increased sugar to around 4 cups, some brown sugar.
7) Added salt back from original recipe.
8) Added a bouquet garni of 1 small cinnamon stick, 8 peppercorns, 10 whole coriander seeds, and 8 whole allspice berries. I could have used at least twice this, but you can tell it's spiced. My wife wanted the chile to be the main spice player.
9) Used a whole packet of low-sugar pectin. Regular pectin would require ~7 cups of sugar, according to the package, which would be awfully sweet for this.
10) Processed for 20 minutes for safety. Some other jam and tomato recipes call for 15-20 minutes. All my jars popped within 10 minutes of removal, so 20 minutes was probably longer than necessary. More recent reading also tells me 10 minutes would have been sufficient, but I leave the decision to you. Just be safe and cautious with your home-canned foods.
I also did not reduce by 1/3. My other tomato jams have been thickened entirely by reduction, but I decided to go for more of a normal fruit jam consistency. I did reduce by a little less than 1/4, and then added the last half of the sugar and the pectin packet. My jam filled 7 half-pint mason jars for processing, plus a little less than a half-pint went into the fridge in a spare jar.
Abridged recipe from Love & Olive Oil, in case the link dies:
3 lbs tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 hot red peppers (jalepeños, thai chilies, etc), finely minced
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons low sugar powdered pectin
Directions: Place ingredients in a 4 quart sauce pan. Make jam as you would with any cooked firm fruit jam, reducing by 1/3 original volume. Process in half-pint mason jars (fills about 5) in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, following normal jam canning procedures. Use opened jam within 3 weeks. See the Ball canning books for more instructions on making and preserving jam at home.
3 lbs tomatoes, cored
4 large peaches, peeled and pitted
6-10 chile peppers (jalepeños, thai chilies, etc
)juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp cider vinegar (or white or other vinegars, 5% acidity)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 package low sugar powdered pectin (recommend Sure-Jell)
Spices to taste: 1 stick cinnamon, 8-12 whole allspice berries, 8-12 whole black peppercorns, 10-15 whole coriander seeds
Remove tops from chiles and shake out the seeds, but leave the membranes intact. Chop the tomatoes, peaches, and chiles finely in a food processor. This will need to be done in batches in most food processors.
Place first 7 ingredients in a 4 or 5 quart sauce pot. Mix the pectin with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, or follow the directions that came with your pectin. Reduce by about 1/4 original volume, bring to a continuous boil, then stir in the pectin mixture. Cook for 1 additional minute. Stir in the remaining sugar and cook until dissolved. (It is recommended to add the sugar/pectin follwing the instructions included with your pectin to ensure it fully dissolves and is not overcooked.)
(Standard jam canning procedure) Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint mason jars, leaving 1/4-inch of head space. Lid with new, sterilized lids and bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Fills 6-8 half-pint jars, depending on the fruit and the amount it is reduced before adding the pectin. Refrigerate opened jam and use within 3 weeks. See the Ball canning books for more instructions on making and preserving jam at home.
Just last week, I made some great sandwiches with grilled chicken breasts, brie, apple slices, ham and pepper jelly. I bet this would be great with it.
You mentioned a chicken glaze, which I would get on board with, but I could see it being great on sausage as well. Or what if you grilled up peaches and spread a bit of your jam on them before finishing?
What if you mixed up some cornbread and, before baking it, drizzled your jam over the top?
Great suggestions! I didn't think of brie. We love to do baked brie with apricot preserves, so that makes perfect sense. And I can just imagine Italian sausage with fennel with this jam.
I did think about trying it on cornbread, but I didn't think about cooking it into the cornbread. I might try that. Thanks!