|Tomato-Peach Jam with Lime + Vanilla|
Tomatoes and peaches ripen about the same time and both thrive on long hot days. And both of them are good only when they are in season.
They combine well in spicy-savory condiments, such as salsas and chutneys, where their tangy-acid-sweetness can really shine.
But they also play well in a sweet-only theme, too, such as this jam I made recently. There were tomatoes left from my day of canning — not enough to fill a quart jar — and a few quite ripe Missouri peaches staring at me on the counter.
Using the Traditional Old-Fashioned Strawberry Jam as my guide, I combined equal weights of peaches and tomatoes with sugar at 75%. In other words, 3/4 pound of sugar for every one pound of fruit.
To round out the flavors, I added the zest and juice from one lime — plus a very teeny bit (not quite one-half teaspoon) of vanilla bean paste.
The result was a brightly flavored jam with brilliant color.
The next day I used some as a pretty garnish for stuffed eggs. My friends really liked it with cream cheese on crackers. I can imagine it slathered on hot whole wheat biscuits, or warmed up and drizzled over ice cream.
Summer is history, but this jam is a good reminder.
Tomato-Peach Jam with Lime + Vanilla
16 oz. tomatoes, mashed
16 oz. peaches, mashed
24 oz. granulated sugar
zest and juice from one lime
1/3 to 1/2 t vanilla bean paste (optional)
This isn’t so much a recipe as a general guide for flavor. I did not follow the open-kettle method of long, slow cooking until the jam gels on its own. It was late at night and I was tired from a long day (honest truth). I cooked low and slow until it began to thicken significantly and then I put it in jars. What I ended up with is a softer jam, and that’s just fine with me. Just use whatever heat-based preserving technique you are most comfortable with — pectin or no pectin. I don’t think freezer jam would work here, though. The tomatoes need some cooking to soften and sweeten a bit.