In Season in Pennsylvania: Tomato Jam Grilled Cheese

Making homemade jam is one of those kitchen projects that might seem daunting, what with the pectin, and boiling the jars and all of that. And while canning (which requires sterilizing the jars and perfecting the recipe so the jam can stay unspoiled for months on a shelf) is indeed an intermediate-to-advanced set of skills, making jam itself is actually a cinch. If you can make tomato sauce, you can make tomato jam!

Our version starts with two or three pounds of juicy, late-harvest tomatoes – if they’re a little bruised or banged up, no big deal – a touch of lemon zest and juice, a hit of fresh ginger, a cup of sugar, and a pinch each of salt and red pepper flakes. You basically let it simmer until it gets thick and saucy, and voila! You’ve made jam! It won’t last for months on a shelf, unless you want to actually can it, but we don’t think that will be a problem. We love this sweet/savory condiment in an egg-and-goat-cheese omelette, on avocado toast, and especially slathered on bread in a gooey grilled cheese. Thick-cut sourdough or multigrain bread from your local bakery is the way to go, as is shredded cheddar cheese made with Pennsylvania dairy. We can’t think of a better simple lunch or supper for the transition between seasons!

Check out our video for the technique, then head here for the Tomato Jam recipe!