Friday, September 21, 2012

Freezer Jam Of The Golden Sun

Sweet, Sweet, Sunshine
Forget the moonbeams and butterflies, or catching falling stars that will fit in your pocket... that's just the stuff of sappy love songs. You can however, catch the summer sunshine and keep it in a jar. At least that's what this jam tastes like to me. Tomato sunshine.

Picture yourself in the middle of winter... it's cold, it's wet, the weather is miserable. You take a jar out of the freezer to thaw. You toast some rustic bread until it's crisp and golden, add some good flavorful cheese—maybe an aged cheddar or smoked Gouda—then pry off the lid of the jam jar and dollop this golden orange stuff over the top. You're transported. You suddenly remember the smell of your hands after picking tomatoes last August. You get a flashback of a warm ripe tomato bursting sweet in your mouth and forever defining the word "summer". It could happen. In fact, I'm planning on it.

Harvest Gold
I've got Sungold cherry tomatoes practically coming out of my ears right now, and while I love them, I know this gloriousness won't last much longer. So I'm "saving for a rainy day" the only way I can right now and capturing the very essence of summer sunshine in a jar for later. 

When I read this recipe, I just knew it would be amazing made with our Sungold cherry tomatoes. Some of them are so sweet, they stop tasting like tomatoes at all and say with assurance, "You see, we really ARE a fruit!". I made one batch at first just to try it out. I filled two half-pint jars, lidded them, labeled them, and stuck them in the freezer. With the bit that was left over, I dolloped it over toast with brie. Two or three times. The creamy pungency of the brie with the sweet, earthy tomato jam... my, oh my... oh my.

Sungold {Cherry Tomato} Freezer Jam
adapted from: The Vanilla Bean Blog
4 cups Sungold cherry tomatoes
1-1/4 cups sugar
a pinch of sea salt
  1. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half.
  2. Put them in a heavy pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil then drop the heat down to a simmer.
  4. Cook the jam until thickened, 60-90 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Jam is done when you can swipe a finger across the back of your spoon and the path remains.
  6. Blend briefly with an immersion blender if you'd like a smoother texture.
  7. Let cool and transfer to jars.
  8. Refrigerate for up to two weeks, or freeze for 6 months.
Yield: 2 to 3 cups.
    Notes: Flavor is the name of the game here, so obviously you'll want to use only homegrown or farmer's market cherry tomatoes. This recipe doubles well. My first (single) batch made just over 2 cups. The next time I made it, I doubled the recipe and got just over 5 cups. Can't wait to try this on a grilled cheese sandwich, panini, cheeseburger... hmm, what else?
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