As of five thirty yesterday afternoon, I am on my beach vacation. We left Baltimore Friday and headed to Raleigh for my cousin Elizabeth’s wedding. After a wonderful and fun filled wedding weekend and lunch with my sweet friend Julia and my mom, we packed up and drove to Morehead City.
Today we’ll take the boat out to Cape Lookout, eat burgers and pimento cheese, swim and laugh. I love the beach.
I wanted to share this tomato jam recipe before I check out for the week. It’s sweet and a little spicy, perfect on cheese, eggs, or burgers. See you soon!
Tomato Basil Jam
4 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced basil
3 cups sugar
Juice of 3 lemons
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
After cutting down your tomatoes, combine them with the remaining ingredients in a non- reactive pot. Simmer for 1-2 hours, or until reduced by half.
About an hour before you want to can fill two large pots with water. I recommend that you have some canning equipment, at the very least a large pot with a rack and a pair of tongs. You’ll need a separate pot for sterilizing your jars and lids. Bring both pots of water to a boil. In one pot (the one without a lid) place your jars and the lids (not the screw bands). Allow them to boil for at least 10 minutes, but keep them in the pot until right before you fill them.
Use a spoon to fill the jars, leaving 1/4″ of room at the top. Use a spoon to make sure there are no bubbles in the jar, and adjust the headspace (space between the jam and the top of the jar) as needed. Wipe the rim with a sterile cloth and fish a lid out of the pot. Place the lid onto the jar and screw the band on tightly. Set aside and repeat with all of your jars.
Take the rack from the other pot and place the jars onto it. Lower the rack into the pot (whose water should be boiling) and process the jars for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water and (here’s the hardest part) wait for the ping. When they first come out of the water the jar should pop up and down, but when the jars seals you won’t be able to pop the jar any more. Some jars will seal immediately, some will take a little longer, and some may not at all. If jars fail to seal, store them in the fridge for up to two weeks. The jars that do seal, however, are good in a cool dark space for up to a year. Enjoy!
**As with any preservation process, there are risks. If you notice anything abnormal, discard the jam immediately. Botulism is no fun.**