The calendar says it’s fall, but you’d never know it if you stepped outside. We had a few days of crisp coolness, but The Air You Can Wear returned late last week, and doesn’t seem to want to pack up and head south with the birds. Steamy and still might not thrill the gardener, but the garden is loving it…
Even if it’s taking its sweet time getting here, the frost will be here before too much longer, and the tomato harvest will go from a trickle to a dead stop. No more juicy slices for sandwiches… *sigh*.
I’ve got 14 pints of plain tomato sauce in the pantry, but that’s not going to work too well with turkey and cheese on sourdough…
But this will!
4lbs. ripe tomatoes
3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Core tomatoes, remove the blossom end, and roughly chop. (Don’t peel or seed them) Combine with the sugar in a large, deep pot (use the one you’ll be cooking the jam in), and allow to sit for at least one hour for the tomatoes to release their juice.
When you’re ready to cook, add the salt and lemon juice, and bring everything to a boil on ‘High’. Boil and stir until thickend and ‘set’. The boil-time will vary depending on the amount of juice in your tomatoes, but figure somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour. Your jam is ready to come off the heat when a blob dropped onto a very cold plate – you know, the one I forgot to tell you to stash in your freezer back at the beginning? Yeah, that one – forms a skin and doesn’t run.
Stir in the basil, and pack into half-pint jars. Again, the number will vary because of the differences in the tomatoes. Prep for 7, hope for 5. Leave a half-inch of headspace, put the lids on, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Let cool completely, check seals, label, and store….
Enjoy a little summer sunshine, from a jar…