Yep, Tomato Basil Jam. Imagine ketchup with a much larger flavor profile…slightly sweet, full of tomato flavor, with a bit of tang from lemon juice and the earthiness of basil. Really, it’s supremely delicious. And I whipped up the jam before church last week, so it took less than thirty minutes.
I modified a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens slightly, using canned crushed tomatoes since it’s not tomato season and saving myself about 15 minutes of cooking time.
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 (1-3/4 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin for lower-sugar recipes
- Combine tomatoes, lemon juice, and basil in a large saucepan. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin; stir into tomato mixture. Over medium heat, bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining 2-3/4 cups sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
- Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.
- Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 6 half-pints.
I did not process mine, but simply ladled them into hot sterilized jars and put the lids on. I let them cool, upside down, on the kitchen counter, and they sealed just fine. I am storing them in the refrigerator and plan to use them in the next couple of months, just to be safe.
As you can see in the photo, I made sliders using leftover meatloaf, pretzel rolls, some havarti cheese, lettuce, and, of course, the Tomato Basil Jam. Unfortunately for my family, we did not have enough leftover meatloaf for everyone to have this, so I just made it for a nice weekday lunch for myself. But now I feel I should make a meatloaf just to have it for sandwiches, this was so very tasty! I used the jam to top the meatloaf for the last fifteen minutes of cooking, which made a delicious alternative to ketchup or tomato sauce. My children didn’t even smother their meatloaf with ketchup at dinner, they liked the jam so well.
We’ve also had the jam with sharp white cheddar cheese and crackers, and that was almost as good as the sliders. Better Homes and Gardens suggests adding it to a grilled cheese, something I plan to try in the very near future. As in lunch tomorrow. I’m also musing using the jam on some savory scones, perhaps ham and cheese or with smoked provolone. I guess it’s a good thing that I have more jars in the frig!