I used to be an avid canner. My friend and I would spend whole summer days filling jars with pickles, jams, chutneys, tomatoes and fruit. Now, I just freeze all my summer produce and make a lot of refrigerator pickles.
But, yesterday I was inspired after reading an article on Food52 about making tomato jam in the oven. My counters are filled with tomatoes, plums, grapes and pears slowly being covered in fruit flies, the official nemesis of late summer. Something had to be done.
So, with outdoor temperatures closing in on 90 degrees, I did what any sane person would do, cranked the oven to 400 degrees and started chopping fruit. After the fruit was cooked I ran them through my food-mill (to remove peels and seeds) and stirred in 2 tablespoons of instant pectin. Then poured into clean jars. I filled some jars only 3/4 of the way and tucked them into the freezer for later eating. The rest went into the refrigerator to eat sooner.
My small taste-taster tasted them all this morning and I got gold stars!
Here is my vague recipe:
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small oven safe pan add 2 cups of chopped fruit or tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar and any spices your heart desires. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and juicy. Run through food mill if desired, then stir in 2 tablespoons of pectin. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Tomato Chili Jam: 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 garlic cloves, 1 -2 teaspoons chili flakes
Grape Plum Vanilla Jam: 1 cup grapes, 1 cup Italian plums, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla (stirred in with the pectin)
Pear Butter: 2 cups ripe pears, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.
Grape Jelly: 2 cups ripe grapes, 1/3 cup sugar
Sweet Onion Jam: 2 cups sweet onion, 5 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.