Tomato Preserves - thatrecipe.com
Fruit, Relishes, Jams and Jellies

Old Fashioned Tomato Preserves are Delicious and Easy

tomato preservesDo you have too many tomatoes and are running out of things to make? Salsa, Caprese Salad, spaghetti sauce, Pasta alla Vodka with Fresh Tomatoes are all great, but …

Or has the weather started to turn cold where you are and you are worried you will have unripened tomatoes? Fried Green Tomatoes, Green Tomato Chow Chow or even Green Tomato Bread are all possibilities.

But, I just made a recipe that you probably never thought of trying before: Tomato Preserves.


That’s right, a sweet jam made with tomato instead of berries, stone fruit or just about any other fruit you would normally associate with jam.

I got the idea from one of the moms in my son’s class. She said a friend from South Africa described it as a jam made with tomatoes and ginger that you eat like regular fruit jam or jelly and said it was quite popular in his home country.

I’d never heard of it, but I knew immediately I needed to find a recipe and give it a try.

Online produced a few results using red wine vinegar that looked promising. But, my husband whines dislikes, whenever I make anything that involves vinegar, especially heated vinegar.

On a whim I checked my old Joy of Cooking cookbook and there it was! And this one used lemons instead of vinegar as an acid. Sounded tastier and much less offensive to a certain individual’s olfactory senses.

When I stopped at Tom’s Farms to get the lemon (and some of the best cheese popcorn on the planet) we just had to wander through the candy store which is also stocked with local honey, salsas and jams. Wait just a second, WHAAAAAT!?

Toms Farms Tomato Preserves

I almost bought some to have a comparison, but saved my money and bought a wheel of Brie instead.

I used ripe Roma tomatoes that were on sale at the store. But here’s the great thing, you can use any tomatoes. Green, yellow, red. Heirloom, beefsteak, early girl, etc. I would stay away from cherry or grape tomatoes because who wants to stand around and blanch the peel off of a pound of those. Not me, thank you very much.

When I tasted the finished product immediately after cooking it was a bit lemony. I happen to love lemon, but I was hoping for more tomato flavor. But, based on my experience making Garlic Jelly, I let it sit for a few days to see if the flavors would blend and the lemon would be less pronounced. Sure enough, it was. Still a hint of lemon but also a nice sweet tomato flavor.

If I may make a recommendation: make these preserves, get some good sourdough bread (or make your own) smear it with some Brie and add a little Tomato Preserves. Maybe a nice glass of wine. Then sit back with some nice soft music and just savor the fabulous flavors.

Tomato Preserves

Meal type Condiment
From book Joy of Cooking
A sweet spread made from green, yellow or red tomatoes, lemon, ginger and sugar. Use it like you would any jam or jelly.

Ingredients

  • 1lb tomatoes
  • 1lb sugar (approximate quantity)
  • 1 Small lemon
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger or 4 inch cinnamon stick

Note

Makes 3 or 4 half pints.

 

 

Directions

Slice an x in the top of each tomato. Place in a pot of boiling water until skin begins to peel off. Immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Slough off skin and remove stem button.
Weigh tomatoes and place in a non reactive bowl (plastic or glass). Gently squeeze tomatoes by hand or with a wooden spoon to release juice. Add an equal weight of sugar. Let stand for 12 hours.
When ready to cook, place two metal teaspoons in the freezer.
Drain juice into a large sauce pan. Boil until the syrup thickens and falls of a spoon in heavy drops. Approximately 20 minutes.
Rough chop the tomatoes and add to the thickened syrup. Grate the lemon zest and add to the syrup. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into the syrup. Add the ginger or cinnamon.
Boil mixture until thick for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To test for doneness, remove one spoon from the freezer. With the spoon you used to stir the preserves remove a small amount of jam and pour into the frozen spoon. Tilt the frozen spoon over the pot, if the preserves pour off in large thick drops it is done. If it pours off quickly, boil for another few minutes and retest with the other frozen spoon.
Remove ginger or cinnamon. Put preserves in sterilized jars and boil in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

Until next time, happy eating.
~Audrey

 

9 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Tomato Preserves are Delicious and Easy”

  1. One of the best ways to preserve tomatoes! Thanks for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social. All posts get pinned in our pinterest board! Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on culinaryflavors.gr ! I hope to see you there!
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  2. I have been looking for a tomatoes preserve recipe for sometime now and this one comes closest to my dad’s only thing different is that my dad would put a thinly sliced piece of lemon that had been cooked with the tomatoes and a half of a stick of cinnamon in each jar before sealing then

  3. Over cooked preserves. Tried the spoon method,would never drip off the spoon. Preserves ended up thick and sticky. I did drop a few drops on a saucer and it cooled thick. Stopped cooking preserves then. Bottled preserves. Was too thick.Tasted great! Wish I had stopped earlier.Used lemon,chrystalized ginger,cinnamon stick and a few cloves.

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