There is a brief moment in time when a tomato is just what a tomato should be. It's elements conspire to promote a remarkable thing, a precise cocktail of acids, sugars, color, and flavor designed to do nothing but please us, so that we want only to cherish the beautiful fruit in our hands and spread its seeds around and make as many more delicious tomatoes as possible.
Tomato is something truly worth experimenting with. It has such a pleasant flavor that it can accompany almost any other edible item. Everything from sweet to sour, from salty to kindly bitter.
When added to the salad, it gives the necessary body embraced with the remarkable juicy sweetness. When incorporated into the stew, it paints it all in lovely red at the same time generously presenting a few astonishing sharp taste notes. And when used as a base for a dessert, it just blows your mind with unforgettable flavor of sugar and... well, tomatoes.
I haven't ever made a tomato jam before. But I read about it. A lot. I saw it. A lot. And I was craving for it. A lot. Until there came an inevitable moment of true. So, the knife was sharpened, the pot was cleaned, jars were sterilized and I was all dressed up in enthusiasm.
James Morrison was singing in a background, but somehow I was still doubting: whether to stick to the tomato jam infused with generous amount of Middle Eastern spices - the recipe I saw popping up every now and then on the web and cooking books, or just to take another direction. Just to let my mind flow a little bit, until it reaches the answer. The decision. The idea.
And it was there. Right next to the basket of slightly overripe peaches. And you know what? From that minute on, there was no time for hesitation. No space for questions. No need for double check. Cause even before getting into the action, I already knew that this peach + tomato combination was destined to become a hit. A single reaching the very top of Billboard. Believe me, it was!
Tomato Peach Jam
2 lb (1 kg) tomatoes
1 lb (500 g) peaches
1 1/2 cup (330 g) light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
Bring a large pot of boiling water to a gentle boil. Cut an x-shaped slit in the ends of all the tomatoes and peaches. Put them into the boiling water and keep there for 30-40 seconds. Remove and and peal off the skins (while pealing the first ones, you can keep the other in a cold water just to stop the cooking process).
When you are done with pealing, coarsely chop both - tomatoes and peaches, reserving the juices. Transfer them to the medium saucepan, and combine with lemon juice. Bring to boil over medium heat and boil for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid is reduced by approximately 1/3. Don't forget to skim off any foam.
After 25-30 minutes, stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Once again, return to boil, and then simmer on medium heat for another 20-30 minutes, until jam slightly thickens. However, it will not be as thick as regular jam. I you want it thicker, you should add about 2 tablespoons powdered pectin together with sugar.
When the jams is ready, ladle it hot into sterilized jars. Cover with lids and keep in dry and dark place.