November 7, 2015

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam
This is now my second year to make Green Tomato Jam. If you grow tomatoes, at the end of the season you'll have green tomatoes. I'll leave the tomatoes for awhile, for some to turn red, but eventually you'll either toss them (compost or chickens), or like me, look for uses.

Typical recipes are for a pie - supposedly similar to apple pie. It's ok. But since we don't eat a lot of desserts, I want my desserts to be our favorites. Another is frying slices, which is good. I posted one recipe along with my end of season put-up of Zucchini Potato Soup, which tastes great defrosted for winter eating! This year I tried a green tomato relish (which I need to label in my fridge, cuz I recently pulled it out thinking it a tomatillo green salsa). It's ok too, but I haven't used it much. I'm going to try it as a sandwich spread, which could be good.

I found the recipe from Splendid Table. I used to listen to that NPR radio program every weekend till our station exchanged it with another program. Instead, I now get emailed weekly recipes and can listen to excerpts or podcasts. The recipe was actually in connection with another recipe - A Green Tomato Tart, which has a bottom ricotta and mascarpone (or cream cheese) layer. I did make the tart once, and will try it again, but typically just make the jam.

Green Tomato Jam

3# green tomatoes, cored and chopped (1/2" pieces)
2 2/3 cups sugar
2-3 lemons (2 zested)
1/8 tsp salt and scant 1/4 tsp pepper
4" cinnamon stick, broken

Hmmmm, now that I type this I realize I've never cored the tomatoes! and I've made quite a few batches. I will cut them in half and sometimes make a "V" for cutting out the stem end and that'll take out some of the white core. The other 1/2" piece thing I sometimes do, not an exact measurement, but realizing there's two end results depending on your preferences. Monte and some friends like the chunky jam. I could do with less chunks. This current batch I'm in process of making, I did literally hand cut yesterday (as I was needing to "fold" my sourdough bread dough every 30 minutes four times, and I was listening to an audiobook - so it was a relaxing time).
Chopped Green Tomatoes and Sugar sitting for 24 hours

Sometimes I use the food processor to chop them. Pulse them a bit and not too much, so you DO end up with some chunks.

The tomatoes and sugar need to be mixed together and sit for 24 hours. Lots of juice will be extracted.

Add the lemons. Zest the lemons and then cut off the white pith and chop. Two large lemons are enough - three if small to medium. Add the seasoning.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes (210 degrees?). I don't take it's temperature. After awhile I'll get some jam juice on my spoon, let it cool a bit and slowly tilt back into the pot. When the drips start coming together slowly into one drop, it means it's thickened up about right. You don't want it runny. Remove cinnamon sticks.

Jar up and freeze. I haven't canned this up. My friend does. I do know, that if you leave it out, even in a cool cellar, it will develop mold. It holds up well in a refrigerator.

Now some of you are going to want the Tart recipe.

Tart Crust

1 cup (5oz) flour
2 oz almond meal
3 Tb sugar
3 oz (6 Tb) butter
1 large egg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1-3 Tb water
Mix together, cutting the butter and liquids into the dry ingredients. Chill. Roll out to fit a removable bottom tart pan. Bake at 375 with pie weights to keep crust from bubbling (I keep pie weights and a folded piece of foil in a container in my pantry) for 15 minutes; then 5-10 minutes without the weights. Cool. Then spread in -

Vanilla Ricotta Cream Filling

1/3 cup whipped cream or 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (cream cheese, replacement)
3/4 cup ricotta
3 Tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Puree this together and Chill.

1 Hour before serving, spread the Ricotta mixture in the tart shell. Top with 1 3/4 - 2 cups Green Tomato Jam. Chill at least 40 minutes then 20 minutes outside the fridge. Serve.

I never took a picture of the finished tart! It was good. The base tart with ricotta filling (which I used cream cheese for only because I couldn't find mascarpone in the back of my cheese drawer, which I thought I had) would be good with any topping. Monte thought layering on some thin slices of pear, which we had excess of at the time, would be good.

I gave the jam as Christmas presents last year along with home brewed Vanilla Extract.
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