When I see pints of cherry tomatoes at the farmers' market in late October, I can't resist buying them, even though they aren't nearly as sweet and perfect as the ones I buy through the summer. My preferred method of cherry tomato preparation is to pop them right in the mouth, maybe with a sprinkle of sea salt, but sometimes these berries need a little help.
So I make them into jam. I spoon it into small containers so I can have a "fresh" container of it when I want. This jam is not too sweet and has just a hint of vanilla which goes deliciously with the tomatoes. Though I make this recipe for tomatoes that are not at their peak, it works wonderfully for tomatoes at their prime as well. Spread on buttered toast or on roasted pork, it makes for one of my favorite snacks. —vvvanessa
1 to 1/2 cups
cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cleaned
sugar, preferably turbinado or evaporated cane juice
inch piece of vanilla bean split open lengthwise
In a non-reactive saucepan, cook all the ingredients over medium-high heat until the tomatoes begin to break down and bubble.
Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring often, until the tomatoes have lost most of their water and the jam begins to thicken. It should take 30-40 minutes, and the jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
Let the jam cool to room temperature. Transfer into containers to freeze (I use 4-ounce plastic storage containers). To help prevent freezer burn (which I have not had a problem with), lightly press a small piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the jam before putting on the container lid. Store in the freezer for 4-6 months.