Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is ready for all of the festivities with friends and family that will soon be upon us. I cannot believe we are only 6 days away from Christmas! We have family arriving tomorrow so I am busy in the kitchen baking and cooking as I am sure many of you are at your own homes this holiday season.
Homemade gifts are some of the most thoughtful ones that you can receive. If you preserve, can, dry and put up some of your foods, you know how much time and effort and love go in to that process.
We always spend much of the summer preserving some of the season’s best fruits and vegetables. As you may know, I am a freezer jam addict, love Brandied Peaches and adore this recipe for homemade Bread and Butter Pickles. The stuff you buy in the store does not compare to what you can make at home from scratch.
One of our favorite recipes from this past summer is for Tomato Preserves. The preserves are a bit spicy from the ginger and pickling spices, tangy from the lemon and have a sweetness from the sugar. They are truly scrumptious! We love the preserves on something simple like homemade fluffy hot biscuits so that all those wonderful flavors can shine through. I am sure you are already thinking about how you might use a jar if you had one!
The recipe calls for small yellow, red or green tomatoes. I used all red tomatoes and yes, they were Heirloom and at the peak of the season. However, if you can find some nice organic cherry tomatoes or beautifully ripe Campari tomatoes, I think you would still have great success making the preserves because there are so many other flavors and spices in the recipe that complement the tomatoes.
If you hurry, you can make a batch or two just in time for holiday gift giving!
Enjoy your week!
Yield: 6 half-pints
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes plus overnight time
Delicious on hot, freshly baked biscuits, these preserves are a real treat!
1 1/2 quarts small yellow, green or red tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon 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; drain. Tie spices and fresh ginger in a spice bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon and water in a large saucepan. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook gently until 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. Boil syrup 3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Recipe courtesy of Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving