1. Chop 4 pounds cored tomatoes. Mix with 1 pound sugar. Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight to allow the fruit to macerate.
2. The next day, add ½ cup organic bottled lemon juice and 1 split vanilla bean. Bring mixture to a simmer; it will thicken after 60 to 90 minutes. Stir to avoid scorching. The mixture will reduce considerably but will not gel like most jams and jellies. When it thickens to a consistency you like—or when it sticks to the back of a spoon—remove from heat. Discard the vanilla bean.
3. Using a ladle, fill sterilized mason jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Put on the lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (for canning instructions, check out freshpreserving.com). Sealed jars are shelf-stable. Use within 6 months. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 2 weeks. Excellent on English muffins or sandwiches.