Sicilian Tomato Jam


I must admit I was intrigued when I read a Twitter post by @divinacucina who is really named Judy Witts Francini, stating she had made tomato jam and promised to post the recipe. I already had a huge bag of beautiful cherry tomatoes so I patiently waited until she posted the recipe the next day. Judy has given me advice on ingredients in the past, and I have made a number of recipes from her newly published cookbook Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen so it is obvious that when it comes to Italian food, Judy knows what she is talking about. If Judy says this jam was good then I knew I had to give it a try. Here is Judy’s recipe for Sicilian Tomato Jam. The original recipe from Sicily calls for Pachino tomatoes, but the tomatoes I used (see photo below) worked out really well.

Reading through Judy’s recipe, I decided to make just a couple of small changes. First, I wanted to roast my tomatoes a bit as they were quite firm even though they were very ripe, and roasting intensifies and sweetens the tomato flavor. I also knew that after roasting I could easily slip off the skins and preferred doing that rather than blanching the tomatoes in boiling water. Finally, I decided to add 1 finely chopped red hot pepper into the mix as I love the combination of sweet and spicy. I followed the recipe and ended up with two jars of tomatoes which I refrigerated overnight. The next day I grilled a few bread slices, spread them with sheep’s milk ricotta, and then topped them with one tomato each from the jam. The flavor is quite unique, but both my husband and I decided we really liked the combination of tomatoes in jam with just a hint of heat. Judy was indeed right…..delicious!

The Tomatoes I Used In My Jam

Recipe Made Two Jars Of Sweet Tomato Jam

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Sicilian Tomato Jam

A zesty tomato jam that is great with cheese or as a bruschetta dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Freshly Chopped Basil
  • 1 Hot Chile Pepper Finely Chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and place on aluminum foil covered baking sheets.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have begin to soften.
  4. Allow to cool and then carefully slip off their skins.
  5. Place the tomatoes in a heavy saucepan with the sugar and bring to a boil.
  6. Continue at a rapid boil for about 7 to 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, basil, and chopped pepper.
  8. Store in sterile jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.