Years ago I read about a Parisian restaurant whose star dessert was tomatoes, stuffed with citrus peel and spices and braised in vanilla-scented caramel. It sounded a little questionable at the time, but after making a batch of savory tomato jam this summer I decided to give the tomato-vanilla-citrus combination a try. The result is incredible. The vanilla and lemon bring out the sweetness and hidden fruit character of the tomatoes. It's great paired with aged cheeses, used as a glaze for chicken or pork, or just slathered on a slice of good bread. —Claire from Hivequeen
What You'll Need
lemon, juice and zest
Remove the stems from the tomatoes, and chop them into fairly small chunks. You don't need to remove the skins or seeds — they'll cook down into the jam and add a nice bit of texture.
Put the tomatoes in a large non-reactive pot and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, until they're reduced in volume to about 5 cups and the texture has thickened. Stir them occasionally so they don't burn.
Slice the vanilla pods open lengthwise and scrape out the paste — it's where the flavor is. Add the paste to the tomatoes. (There's plenty of vanilla flavor left in the pods: use them to make vanilla-infused sugar or vodka.)
Add the juice and zest of one lemon, and 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste).
Simmer on low, stirring regularly, for another 10 minutes or so. Taste, and adjust lemon juice and sugar if needed.
This is NOT a shelf-stable jam. You must store it in the freezer (about a year) or the refrigerator (about 3 weeks, once defrosted).