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Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Posted by ajsmama (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 25, 12 at 8:18

If anyone has a recipe for a tomato "spread" that could be used in winter on sandwiches or burgers that you would normally put a slice of tomato on, I'd appreciate it. I tried a tomato "jam" last year but it had pineapple in it and was just plain weird - not sweet enough for a jam but not savory enough to be a "tomato slice substitute" either. Of course, last year's tomatoes weren't the most flavorful either.

Or should I just make tomato paste and use that on sandwiches?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Sure you can use tomato paste. We prefer to open a jar of one of our many different flavored tomato sauces, heat it up and thicken it a bit with corn starch, then just keep the jar of 'tomato spread' in the fridge. Use it just like mayo or any other sandwich condiment spread.

We prefer using smooth sauces but it would probably work just as well with some of the chunky sauce recipes.


RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

I freeze most of my toms for making sauce and salsa during the winter. Occasionally, I'll thaw a couple, peel and get some seeds out, then mash them up leaving some larger chunks and mix with mayo to use on sandwiches(tastes the same as a nice juicy slice)or for salad dressing when I can't stand to buy those red sponges they sell off-season.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

I have a tomato basil jam recipe (I haven't tried it though). I can post it if you're interested.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Sure, I'd like that malna.

Has anyone tried the Bruchetta in a Jar recipe from Ball Complete? I was also thinking about the Tomato Preserves (page 70) but without the pickling spice and ginger - still too much lemon and sugar to use on sandwiches and burgers?

I can keep a BWB boiling for 30 min on my glass stove, but afraid 45 would be too long, don't want to try the paste.

I might just freeze some too, also want to try (partially?) dehydrating some slices (and freezing them if only partially). Has anyone tried that? DD is the only one in the house who likes mayo, so I'm looking for something that will stand alone on a sandwich - and if I could use it in salads that would be even better!

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Tomato Basil Jam
Source: Gourmet Preserves Chez Madelaine
3 lbs ripe tomatoes
2 lemons
24 fresh basil leaves, divided
1 cup sugar

Peel, core, quarter tomatoes, and squeeze seeds out through a sieve to retain juices. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Pieces and juice will measure a generous 4 cups.

Put tomatoes in a 4 quart pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and simmer for 30 minutes until reduced to 2-1/2 to 3 cups and free of excess moisture.

Remove yellow zest from the 2 lemons. Squeeze juice from both lemons. Puree 12 basil leaves with 1/2 the lemon juice.

Off heat, stir the zest and the plain lemon juice into the tomatoes. Return the mixture to a simmer and being adding the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the mixture to regain the boil before adding more.

Cook and stir frequently for 10 minutes until jam thickens. Thermometer reading should be 210 degrees. [You may want to increase this temperature for a firmer set - I don't know as I haven't made it.]

Off heat, stir in remaining lemon-basil juice. Cool a spoonful to room temperature and taste for a balance of sweet and sour.

Add more lemon juice if needed. Cut the reserved basil leaves into strips and fold into the jam.

Put into jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Process 10 minutes in BWB. Makes 2-1/2 to 3 cups.

Here's another that might appeal to you - I found it my files but I can't remember where it came from - oops :(

Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam
Makes 1-1/2 pints

3 1/2 lbs tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup finely diced tart green apple

Put all ingredients in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until thickened and jam-like consistency, about 3 hours. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or use a hot-water canning bath for 15 minutes for long-term storage.

Or this one from Marisa at Food in Jars:

Tomato Jam Recipe
2010 yield: 4 1/2 pints
2011 yield: 3 pints
2012 yield: 2 1/2 pints

The finished yield on this recipe varies depending on the kind of tomato you use, the width of your pan and the finished thickness to which you cook it.

5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes

Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer* the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.

When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.

When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

*In my kitchen, the word simmer means to cook just below a boil. There should still be a few bubbles, but it shouldn't be splashing all over your cooktop. If you cook at lower temperatures, the cooking time will increase.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Thanks malna.

Any concerns about any of these recipes? Doesn't seem like much acid (how much juice in 2 lemons?), though the apple helps in #2. I probably wouldn't make that one anyway, seems more "sweet" than "savory". And I'd leave out the spices in the last one.

I just threw my over-ripe tomatoes in the slow cooker, after putting through Foley I got a quart of juice I just stuck in the fridge (no lemon juice, salt or spices). DH will drink it all in 24 hours - he can add his own seasonings.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

For the very reasons you indicate, and because I wanted a decent BLT in January, I tracked down this recipe, it's from Giada DeLaurentis. It's quite good on a sandwich or Burger, not sweet at all and doesn't have any of the sweet spices in it. It will keep in the refrigerator for quite a while, and definately is not a canning recipe. I actually used a bit more vinegar because I wanted a little brighter flavor.


1 8ounce Jar SD Tomatoes, packed in Oil
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Drain the Tomatoes, reserving the Oil, medium chop. Saut� the Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic in about a tablespoon of the reserved Oil until the Onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and continue to simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool, mixture should have a very jammy consistency. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.


RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

We make a spread using dried tomatoes, a bit of water to rehydrate them, olive oil, salt, then dried oregano, grated garlic, and basil. Its wonderful.

No specific proportions, just going by taste. The trick is to go easy on the oregano, garlic, and basil, just hint.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

So is the trick to dehydrating tomatoes to slice them on the thicker side? How thick? And what about my idea of partially dehydrating and then freezing the slices? Or is it just as good to fully dehydrate the (thinner?) slices and then rehydrate with water or tomato juice (I probably will can some juice this year, if DH doesn't drink it as fast as I can make it)?

If using olive oil and Italian spices, I might as well make the bruchetta.

No olive oil in Ball's Bruschetta recipe!

Sorry, I just realized it looked like I was saying they used it, they don't the recipe calls for half vinegar and half white wine (and I didn't have any white wine in the house, I've got a couple bottles of red though).

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

ajs - I made the bruschetta in a jar recipe last year. Too vinegary for bruschetta. But we like it on pasta. I'll use up the 10 jars or so that I made. But I doubt I'll ever make it again. Besides - after I bought the wine and the wine vinegar, it ended up being pretty expensive!

I slow roast tomatoes, and then freeze them. I usually use plum type tomatoes. Cut them in half, or cut the larger ones in thirds. Place them on parchment paper on rimmed baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then I put them in a 200 degree oven overnight. They shrink in size, but are still moist. They are definitely different than a dehydrated tomato. Next morning, I let them cool to room temperature and then put in a ziploc in the freezer. FWIW - a 20 lb box of tomatoes fills 4 rimmed baking trays, and once slow roasted they all fit in a gallon ziploc.

I use them on pasta or pizza or brushchetta. Pretty much take them out of the freezer, chop them, throw them in a pan with a little garlic and olive oil. Them put on the pizza, the pasta, or on brushetta bread. The tomato flavor is really intense. They remind me a lot of the sundried tomatoes in olive oil that I buy at Trader Joes.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Thanks pixie lou. I think I'll try that with my beefsteaks (mostly brandwyines and black krims), using a broiler pan perhaps so the juice can drain?

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

I also wanted to try the FiJ recipe - looks like 5 lbs of chopped tomatoes should be less than 2 quarts (going by NCHFP Crushed Tomato yield, which says 2.75 lbs for a quart), so 8 TBSP of lime juice should be fine (NCHFP says 2 Tbsp lemon juice per quart)?

What about density issues? I noticed 5 lbs only made 2.5 pints (5 jelly jars) this year, 3 pints last year (could have been really juicy tomatoes). Should this be thick like a jam or thinner like a ketchup?

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 30, 12 at 11:08

I think it depends on the texture you want. Last year was so rainy that I'm not surprised tomatoes were juicier - actually mine were watery. A foot and a half of rain in August was not fun.

I think the acidity should be fine as well in the FiJ recipe. You're cooking a lot of the water out and adding lime which is more acid than lemon. Sneak up on the spices to your taste - they will get stronger after canning and storage :-)

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

I started with 5lb of tomatoes but by the time I cut out the cores and the "scars" from catfacing (some were pretty knobby, esp. the BK), I only weighed 3 lbs prepped so I grabbed 2 more that weighed 2 lbs together - will be less after coring but those weren't heirlooms. I had just under 3C of sugar in the house (did 2 batches of peach jam yesterday) so threw that in with 8 Tbsp lime juice, 1 cinnamon stick, and I tried grating ginger but it was too wet so just cut a couple of 1/8" slices and threw them in the crock pot on high for a couple of hours. Still very soupy but smells wonderful, I'll let it cook while I run up to my Dad's (he had hernia surgery yesterday so I have to pick his garden), and I'll run back home to check it b4 I pick up DS, maybe I can can it tonight, even if I have to pour it into my Dutch oven to finish it off (and adjust the seasonings - I didn't even put salt in yet).

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Ooh, my tomatoes are really juicy - after 6 hrs on High, I strained them (the skins and seeds didn't look like they'd be good in jam), I didn't strain them into measuring cup, but right into Dutch oven, and it looks like 4-6C of juice. Very sweet cinnamony juice.

Should I peel and seed more tomatoes, add the pulp (and maybe more acid, some N-S pectin?)?

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Ajs - I've never had a problem with the juice when I slow roast. But I typically do it with plums. If I were to use juicy beefsteaks - I'd probably just put the slices on a cooling rack inside the rimmed baking sheet - skip the parchment - but generously foray it with Pam first.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Didn't try roasting yet. Strained the pulp, skin and seeds out, boiled the heck and finally got a gel but it was just under 24 oz of "seedless tomato jam" about the consistency of ketchup this AM but I think it will set up since it set up on the frozen saucer. Not a good use of 7 lbs of heirloom tomatoes.

Picked up cilantro tonight but brain freeze, I automatically put all my peppers in truck for market so I sold all me jalapenos, I have bells but only 2 serranos to make salsa this weekend! How embarrassing to sell my hot peppers and then have to buy more!

Since I bought cilantro, I have to make salsa this weekend, but still thinking on that spread - how about peeling, seeding tomatoes and using N-S pectin with just enough sugar to cut the lemon/lime (probably use lemon) bite? I know I'm heading into "making up my own recipe" here, but as long as I have the 2 Tbsp/quart ratio to acidify the tomatoes, is there a problem using pectin to thicken my "crushed tomatoes" and make them into a spread? Not a glue or even a paste, just something thicker than ketchup? But without the 45 minute processing time for paste?

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Doesn't Ball or NCHFP have a recipe for a tomato butter? For some reason I'm thinking I've seen a recipe for a yellow tomato butter. Wondering if that would give you the consistency you want without the excess sugar.

RE: Tomato "spread" that tastes like tomato?

Butters tend to have a fair amount of sugar, that's why I'm wondering about the N-S pectin? Farm Journal Canning book has a Tomato Butter, 5 qts "ground" tomatoes, 3 onions, 1 pt vinegar and 5C sugar plus spices. I don't know if the 5 qts ground tomatoes are measured after the peeling and grinding or whole tomatoes. But 1C sugar to 1 Qt tomato sounds sweet to me, esp. after cooking it down. I think it might just call for that much to counter the vinegar, which of course is needed b/c of the onion.

But that is along the lines of what I was thinking for consistency, just without all the added ingredients and sugar. Plain old tomatoes, lemon juice (or citric acid), and pectin with maybe a touch of sugar and salt. The less cooking the better to preserve the fresh tomato flavor.

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