If you have a lot of tomatoes, this traditional recipe for tomato preserves is a fun way to use them.
Savory and sweet, it makes a nice addition to a meat and cheese tray.
From “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.”
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 1/2-inch piece peeled gingerroot
4 cups granulated sugar
2 medium lemons (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup water
6 cups peeled small yellow, green or red tomatoes (see note)
Tie pickling spice and gingerroot in a square of cheesecloth creating a spice bag.
In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan combine sugar, lemon slices, water and spice bag. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and boil gently, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are transparent. Remove from heat, cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 to 18 hours.
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
Using a slotted spoot, transfer tomatoes and lemon slices to a glass or stainless steel bowl and set aside. Discard spice bag. Bring syrup to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add reserved tomatoes and lemons. Bring back to a boil and boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headpsace, if necessary, by adding hot preserves wipe rim. Center lid on jar Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes for elevations up to 1,000 feet. Add 5 minutes of processing time for elevations up to 2,000 feet. Add 10 minutes for elevations up to 3,000 feet.
Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Yield: 6- 8 ounce jars.
Note: To peel tomatoes, place them in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins start to crack. Immediately dip in cold water. The skins will slip off easily.