Tomato confit, tomato jam

TTurn inexpensive hot-house tomatoes into a luscious ruby-red jam. Pronounced "con-fee", from the French word to conserve, this fresh jam will keep a long time in the refrigerator and can replace more expensive tomato ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes in sauces and toppings.

Tomato Confit

Two basic ingredients:

Tomatoes & olive oil
— I used 12 hot-house Romas and 3 Tbs. of oil

Optional ingredients:

Bouquet garni of herbs, using what you have at hand, for instance basil, thyme, sage, bay leaf
Slivers of fresh garlic
Sweeteners, like maple syrup or agave
(I used two sprigs of rosemary, but no sweetener, salt, or garlic)

To make:

Chop the tomatoes by hand and toss with oil in a bowl. You can make tomato confit in a slow oven or a dehydrator. Arrange tomatoes on a cookie sheet covered with a double-layer parchment if using an oven, or a Teflex sheet for a dehydrator. Dry the tomatoes with a low temperature for several hours until most of the water is removed to result in a jam-like consistency. The tomatoes will brighten in color. My confit took 8.5 hours in a dehydrator at 105-degrees F. If a few tomatoes get leathery, don't worry, just stir them in later.

Store tomatoes in a glass jar with some of the herbs and extra oil if needed.

These are fantastic fresh. As the flavor begins to wane over time, you can flavor them with salt, sweetener (I love maple), or anything you like.