Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tomato & Chilli Jam

It has been a day in kitchen and the perfect way for me to spend a quiet day at home. We have been blessed with the home produce this year and the tomatoes are now abundant. This year we planted Rouge de Marmande, two cherry tomatoes, a smaller type that I have forgotton the name of and some tomatoes that we refer to as Mr Bertucci's Bigs and Mr Bertucci's Bush. Sadly, Mr Bertucci is no longer with us but his tomatoes live on.

Each year our friend Frank saves the seeds from Mr Bertucci's tomatoes and gives us tomato plants. The Bertucci bigs are really big and perfect for the tomato and chilli jam, I used the Bertucci bush tomatoes for stewed tomatoes.

We will save some seeds from the Rouge de Marmande in the hope that we will produce our own tomato plant next year. They are a funny shape, however, slice nicely and have good flavour for salads and bruschetta.

I find that the tomato and chilli jam is best made in small batches, I have made it in larger quantities but the reducing of the tomato liquids seems to take forever and it is more likely to catch on the bottom of the pan.

It can be made without skinning the tomatoes, although, I think it looks better if the tomatoes are skinned.

Tomato and Chilli Jam
2 kg tomatoes
10 hot chillies or more to taste
1 cup apple cider/brown vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 pkt Jamsetta
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Prepare tomatoes. Cut a small cross in the bottom of the tomatoes, plunge into a pot of boiling water for a minute or so. Remove from hot water, allow tomatoes to cool and then peel the skin away.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place in a large pan. Add chillies, vinegar, sugar and salt.

Simmer until mixture reduces down and is thick and pulpy, approximately 40 minutes or longer if tomatoes are very juicy.

Remove from heat, add liquid smoke if using and sprinkle the packet of Jamsetta over the tomato mixture. Stir and mix thoroughly.

Return to heat and bring to the boil, simmer for a further ten minutes, stirring from time to time.
Allow to cool slightly. Pack into clean sterilised jars. Cover with cellophane/Klearview cover and seal with a lid.

While the jam was cooking I blanched lots of beans for the freezer. 

Once the tomato jam was made I started on the stewed tomatoes. There are lots of containers in the freezer. I mostly use them as a base for a braise or pasta sauce. I pack them into 1 kg 500g and 375 g plastic containers. I do not bother to skin them, simply dice and cook down.


No fancy containers or labels. These plastic 'takeaway' food containers are cheap, reusable and stack neatly in the freezer. I always use masking tape and Texta pen for the labels. The masking tape peels off easily for washing.

As I have quite few visitors coming to lunch there was some baking done.

Two large tomato, zucchini and goats cheese tarts

and for dessert, a chocolate and zucchini cake. All it needs is a dust of icing sugar/a drizzle of chocolate sauce and some cream. Hope they like zucchini!

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