By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
This summer, executive chef Patrick Horn of Satterfield’s Restaurant won a first place ribbon in The Great Alabama Tomato Recipe Contest. The contest was hosted by Les Dames d’Escoffier Birmingham, a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Today he shares his condiment cooking procedure and recipe, which can also be made in larger quantities and preserved by canning for year-round enjoyment.
Spicy Tomato Jam
Recommended Tools: sharp knife, slotted spoon, microplane zester, wide saucepan, candy thermometer, and container with lid
6 pounds tomatoes, peeled* and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice (approximately 6 lemons)
4 cups light brown sugar, leveled not packed
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 large cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ pound ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
*To peel the tomatoes, blanch and shock them using the following method: Core each tomato and score an X on the bottom. Blanch in lightly salted boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on size. Shock the tomatoes by transferring them directly from the boiling water, using a slotted spoon, into a bowl of ice water. Once cool, the skins should peel very easily from the scored bottom. Discard skins, cut into one inch pieces, and set aside.
Zest and juice all lemons. Strain lemon juice into a large, wide saucepan, and add all ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are juicy and the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until the mixture is a deep red color and syrupy and the candy thermometer registers 220° F. Reduce heat if the mixture starts to scorch. Depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes, cooking time may range from 40 to 70 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick and cool. When jam reaches room temperature, place in container with lid or serve immediately with biscuits and sausage. Yields four pints.