Cherry Tomato Strawberry Jam
When you are standing at the edge of the garden and the cherry tomato plants are bursting at their seams, don’t breath a heavy sigh, wondering what the heck you are going to do with all of those tiny fruits. Instead, be happy knowing that not only will your family be enjoying their goodness and flavor in the very near future, but so can your friends and party guests in the form of a beautiful ‘all table’ condiment throughout the winter months ahead.
This jam is very easy to make and so delicious, (very close to strawberry preserves) that you will find yourself placing it on any table for every meal from breakfast to dinner to garden parties and more. And you will no doubt then be planting enough cherry tomatoes in the seasons that follows to ensure this jam is around through every season to come.
Here’s what you will need for Cherry Tomato Strawberry Jam
At the very bottom of this post, I have given you a list of items you will need to create this process. You can purchase everything, that you may not already have, at one time making the entire process an enjoyable event.
Let’s start with the ingredients:
- 3 pounds of cherry tomatoes
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of strawberries
- ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp cumin (each)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
(This recipe yields several jars – depending on what size jars you chose to fill. I personally use small decorative jars and, after adding ribbons and bows, give them away as gift over the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.)
Let’s get started on your Cherry Tomato Strawberry Jam:
Start the whole party by sanitizing your half pint sized, wide mouthed jars and lids.
- Place your empty jars right side up on a rack in a large steep pot or canning vessel.
- Fill the vessel, and each of the jars, with hot water
- Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil for at least 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat beneath the pot and allow to stand for another half an hour.
- Carefully remove the now sterilized jars and drain them upside down on a clean towel.
- Discard the water from the pot and wash clean
As for the lids and rings, I put them in a small sauce pan of boiling water and allow them to boil for ten minutes and cool for about twenty minutes. I then use a pair of tongs and stand them on end against one of the jars to cool, yet remain sterile.
Now let’s prepare our ingredients for your Cherry Tomato Strawberry Jam :
In the meantime, prepare your cherry tomatoes by washing them and removing the stem. Then score one side of each tomato with a small pairing knife. Simply slice (without puncturing through to the meat) down the skin of the tomato. (This will making removing the skin a cake walk.) Set aside in a large bowl.
Next we are going to use a very easy method for removing the skins on your tiny tomatoes. It’s called blanching.
Here’s what you do:
Prepare a pot (stainless steal) of boiling water and a bowl, or your clean kitchen sink, full of ice cubes and water.
Place your cherry tomatoes, a few dozen at a time, into the boiling water, careful not to load too many as the idea is not to crowd them. Keep the water at a consistent boil. Allow the tomatoes to remain in the boiling water for about a minute and a half or so.
Once the tomatoes are ‘cooked’, using a strainer, quickly, but carefully, remove them from the boiling water and plunge them straight into the ice bath. This will stop the cooking process completely, which is what you want to do.
Immediately drop a few more dozen cherry tomatoes into the boiling water.
Keep the cherry tomatoes in the ice water long enough for them to cool all the way through. Don’t remove the fruit too soon, as they will continue to cook and will become mushy. Then, using a smaller strainer, remove the tomatoes, not the ice cubes, to a tea towel and allow them to dry completely.
Complete this process until all of your cherry tomatoes are blanched, ice bathed and drying on your towel. Again,carefully empty and wash your pot clean.
The next step in making your Cherry Tomato Strawberry Jam:
So far so good. Your jars are sterilized and your tomatoes are ready to peel of their skins. This is actually far easier than it sounds, so don’t freak out. When you scored your gems prior to blanching, you made this process very simple. With your small paring knife simply start at the score and pull the skin away from the meat of the tomato. Discard the skin, cut the tomato in fourths and them drop into the pot, that you have again sat on the stove.
Now here’s a hint: Do not get overly anxious about peeling the skins away. The truth is that the skins and the seeds add a ton of flavor. I just don’t like an excess of skins so that’s why I personally use this method. So, as you are standing there removing the skins, those that don’t give way with ease can remain. Simply remove what comes off quickly and easily and forget about the part that doesn’t! It’s really all the better that some remains anyway.
On to the strawberries:
When all of your tomatoes are in the pot, you can start on the strawberries.
Wash and dry the berries on your tea towel. With your paring knife, cut off the stems. Cut the berries in fourths or sixth and drop them in the pot with the tomatoes.
When you have all of the tomatoes and strawberries in the pot, add the brown and white sugars, the salt and pepper, the pepper flakes, the vinegar and the cumin.
Bring the mixture to a slow boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to low and simmer for 4 to 4 and 1/2 hours. Stir often throughout the hours and allow the mixture to break down, meld together into a jam consistency, reduce in volume, and become thick. Remove from the heat and stir slightly. Allow to cool for about five minutes.
Almost done now:
Using a canning funnel, careful ladle the jam into your prepared jars. Wipe the lip of each jar with a clean towel. Allow the jam to cool for about fifteen more minutes, then place the lids and rings on each jar and tighten. Whala! You just made your very own Cherry Tomato and Strawberry Jam!
Store your jams in the frig and serve to your hearts content. Enjoy.
If you are anything like me, you will take the day to create a larger quantity of these tiny jars of sweet perfection, and prepare them for the fruit cellar or pantry as well as a few for the frig. To do this, you will want to take one more step in the process. It’s called a ‘water bath’. And let me tell you now that this is a very simple process, so don’t shrink from it. It’s really not as scary as one might think.
Here’s all you need to do:
In your large pot, fold a heavy tea towel to size and place it on the bottom of your pan. (This is used as a guard when your water is boiling against the bottom of the pan and your jars.) Fill the pan with water. Set your tightly closed jam jars in the water. (Make sure they are totally submerged with at least two inches of water above the jar tops.) Bring your water to a boil and drop the temperature just slightly so that the boil remains consistent, but not rolling. Allow your jars to remain in the boiling water for 25 minutes. (Use a timer!) When the timer goes off, turn off the heat. Allow your jars to remain in the water bath until they have cooled for about half an hour. Remove the jars to a towel covered counter and allow to cool completely. Whala! Done! Cherry Tomato Strawberry jam for the winter!
Here’s what you may need!
- apple cider vinegar
- red pepper flakes
- half pint, wide mouth mason canning jars
- wide mouth, decorative canning jelly jars
- Canning Pot – This is a great set! Roaster Pro Recommended! Great for beginners too!
- small paring knife
- Canning Funnel