Once a year I challenge myself to make a new jam. This time, as I had quite a few green tomatoes left on my plants and I knew they would not ripen in September, I decided to make green tomato jam. After reading a few recipes, I opted for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s and I was not disappointed. This is my adaptation of his recipe.
- Ingredients: 3 1/2 lemons, 1Kg small green tomatoes (with some reddish ones), 1200g granulated sugar (or 800g granulated + 400g preserving), 450ml water
- Utensils: Big preserving pan or a big pan with a thick bottom, Lemon zester, Sharp knife, Muslin bag or muslin cloth and kitchen string, Clean sterilised jars
Begin by sterilising some jars.
Remove the lemon zest in long strips, being careful not to remove any of the white pith. Fill a small pan with about 250ml water, bring to the boil, add the lemon zest strips and simmer for two minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and dry. Now put them in a small food processor, or cut into very thin strips if you prefer, and put to one side.
Peel the pith from the lemons and then carefully remove the flesh by cutting in between the segments (read about it here or watch this video). Keep the pips and the skin from between the segments and put them in a muslin bag or a piece of muslin tied with kitchen string.
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut them in halves and put them into a preserving pan with the lemon zest, lemon flesh and sugar. Give it a good stir and leave to macerate overnight. When ready to make the jam, add the water and hang the muslin bag from the pan so that the bag is inside the liquid. Place the pan over a low heat until any remaining sugar crystals have disappeared. The sugar takes a little while to dissolve but it is better to do it without stirring too much. Be patient as it is important to get rid of all the crystals. Once the sugar has dissolved, raise the heat, bring to a rolling boil and boil until the setting point (105°C) is reached; this will take about 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a drop of olive oil. Cool for 10 minutes, and then pour into the sterilised jars and store.
I use quite small jars as they are cute and you don’t end up with opened jars all over the fridge.
This jam is delicious with hard cheese like Manchego or Pecorino, or simply over a piece of toast. It is definitely going to be part of my home-made Christmas presents this year!
Find out more about cooking with tomatoes from Maria in her recently published article about the essential ingredient: tomatoes.
Photographs copyright Marta Pipiora: martapipioraphotography.blogspot.com