Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tomato Preserves

I found this recipe in the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.  I found one called Yellow Pear Tomato Preserves on one of those forum threads I mentioned before.  I wrote them both down to try, but when I was looking at the recipes, I realized that they are essentially the same recipe, except that the one called Yellow Pear Tomato Preserves is a doubled batch, calls for using only the yellow pear tomatoes and has a tsp of ground cinnamon and a tsp of ground cloves added.   I decided to try the one from the Ball book first, then next time, I will probably try it with the added cinnamon and cloves.  My yield was 2.5 pints.

Here's the recipe:
1.5 quarts small yellow, green or red tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
(I used a mix of the chocolate cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes)
1Tbsp mixed pickling spices
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger
4 cups sugar
1 cup thinly sliced and seeded lemon (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup water

Wash and peel tomatoes (I skipped the peeling based on my experience with the yellow pear tomato jam, I did however, chop them into quarters.  The cherry tomato peels didn't completely melt away like the yellow ones did, but they were not bad at all.)  Tie spices and fresh ginger in a spice bag.  Combine sugar, lemon, water and spicebag in a large saucepot.  Simmer 15 minutes. 

Add tomatoes; cook gently until the tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place.  Remove spice bag.  Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup (I didn't do this, there wasn't much to remove!)  Boil syrup 3 minutes or longer to thicken (It was probably closer to 10 for me, but remember, the tomatoes were still in it.) 

Return tomatoes and lemon from syrup (I think I also added 1 Tbsp pectin at this point) boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  (I found that simply stirring gently made the foam disappear.)  Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust 2 piece caps.  Process 20 minutes in a boiling water canner.
The jar on the right is the tomato preserves