Frost has finally punished my vegetable garden. Not before I picked an additional 80 pounds of tomatoes! Not before I picked a peck of potatoes and not before I picked a legacy of leeks.
While I was temporarily saddened by the total demise of summer, I was secretly pleased as I have been canning, preserving, pickling, drying and freezing for weeks and I do so long for an evening away from the stove. So, the frost is my friend and has saved me from a winter dedicated to preserving. I still have much to do but at least I can see the end. It’s just behind those crates of produce.
Today I am going to share one of my
favourite things – tomato marmalade.
Heirloom Tomato Marmalade
(Makes 3 half pints )
5 pounds of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and drained
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Granted zest and juice of 1 lemon
Tie the following herbs and spices in square of cheesecloth (for heaven’s sake – don’t go out and buy fenugreek – use it if you have it. Ditto for allspice. It will not make that much difference. Just use what you have)
-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
-1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
-1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
-1 Bay leaf
-1/2 teaspoon dill seed
-1 teaspoon fenugreek
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
Pinch of salt
1. Peel, seed and drain tomatoes. I like to drain the tomatoes over a strainer or steamer basket to remove some of the tomato water. This will help reduce the cooking time. You can save the tomato water for soup, risotto, or anything else requiring liquid.
2. In a large nonreactive pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Stir occasionally. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are this will take a couple of hours. I like my marmalade thick and jam like .
3. If you want to process, ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath. If you would rather not, then skip the boiling water bath and store in the refrigerator.
I process several batches because it is just so darn good. You will find that five pounds of tomatoes does not go very far once it has simmered down to a jam like consistency so don’t be disappointed – buy more tomatoes. You won’t be sorry.
* Billy, the marmalade cat, appears courtesy Valentine Farm
Next Week – Probably more tomatoes!