by Mourad Lahlou
Makes 1 batch
1 hour 20 minutes total time
35 minutes active time
Starting in June, my grandpa would bring home bushels of tomatoes from his farm just outside Marrakesh. They were served in as many dishes as the women of the house could churn out, and what was left was pickled or made into this sweet-spicy jam. We knew it would be around for just a short while, so everyone would devour it all summer long, especially us kids. I call it a jam, because its made that way, but its really more like a relish that goes well with savory foods, like lamb, chicken, fish, or nibbles like crostini with goat cheese (as featured in this video recipe). Stored in a jar with a bit of olive oil on top, it will keep in the fridge for about a month.
2 large lemons
5 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pounds Sweet 100 tomatoes, stems removed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut off the ends of the lemons and discard. Cut the lemons in half lengthwise, then lay them flat side down and cut crosswise into very thin half-moon slices. Set aside.
Peel the ginger and cut into ¼-inch slices. You will need 2/3 cup (90 grams). Put the ginger and vinegar in a high-powered blender. Begin blending on low speed, then, increase the speed to high to puree the ginger.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes and both sugars to the pan and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and stir constantly with a flat-bottom wooden spoon, scraping the bottom and corners of the pan to prevent the sugar from burning.
After about 7 minutes, the tomatoes will begin to split and release their juice causing the sugar to melt very quickly. Once melted and starting to boil, stir in the lemons. Continue to boil the mixture for another 3 minutes, and then add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the pureed ginger mixture.
Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook at a rapid simmer until the jam has reduced by about half, 45 minutes. (In the beginning stir occasionally, but as it thickens, especially towards the end of cooking, stir often to keep from burning.) Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Continue to cook until the jam is thick and has reduced to about 3 1⁄2 cups. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Spread the jam in a non-reactive 9-by 13-inch pan, preferably stainless steel, to cool, then refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 month. Makes 3 ½ cups of Tomato Jam.
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Flat bottom wooden spoon
9 x 13-inch stainless steel or glass pan
Glass storage jars