I think this was the predecessor to catsup, and it’s much better. Catsup seems kind of bland to me – but boy do I like this stuff. We first tried it on hamburgers (and it completely ruined any chance catsup had of getting on my hamburger again). If using fresh tomatoes, make sure they’re big, bold, high flavor tomatoes – don’t bother with insipid hybrids. It’s good on pork, beef, grilled onions, roasted vegetables, and I’m wondering about a cracker with goat cheese. Anyway, I found it at “The Splendid Table” ” blog (see Favorite Links) under Sweet and Piquant Tomato Jam. I also love it because you just have to core the tomatoes, no seeding or peeling – what a joy when the tomatoes are pouring out of the garden!
2 lbs. flavorful fresh tomatoes, cored & roughly chopped, but not seeded or peeled (or 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (Muir Glen suggested), thoroughly drained)
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more as desired
1/4 teaspoon good tasting hot chile powder, more as desired
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (fresh ground is especially good)
In a 12 inch skillet, combine all the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cook at a lively bubble, scraping down the sides of the pan and stirring often, until the tomatoes are thick and sizzling (watch the heat so they don’t burn).
The jam is done when the tomatoe liquid is thick, syrupy and has glossy bubbles (glossy bubbles are a sign that the fruit’s water has cooked away and the sugar is liquefying). Let cool and taste to see if more lemon juice or chili is needed, and adjust seasons accordingly.
Scrape the jam into a glass bowl or pint freezer jars. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator, but I’m putting lots in the freezer for winter. Makes about 1 1/2 pints.