Tomato preserves: a reminder of bounty


September 14, 2005|By Julie Rothman | Julie Rothman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Charlene Snell from Columbia was looking for a recipe for "little yellow tomato preserves" that her grandmother used to make with the small volunteer tomatoes from her garden. Even though Charlene was fortunate enough to get most of her grandma's cookbooks, she has been unable to locate a recipe for her favorite preserves.

Lorraine Van Drimmelon from Salem, Ore., sent in a recipe for tomato preserves that can be made using yellow, green or red tomatoes. This time of year, when everyone's garden seems to have an abundance of tomatoes, is the perfect time to try this preserve.

Come winter, it will be nice to have this tasty condiment on hand to remind you of summer's bounty. If you prefer a less-sweet preserve omit the crushed pineapple and substitute 1 cup of thinly sliced lemon.

Tomato Preserves

Makes 6 half-pint jars

1 1/2 quarts (about 2 pounds) small yellow, green or red tomatoes

1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices

one 1/2 -inch piece ginger root, peeled

4 cups sugar

1 cup crushed pineapple or 1 cup thinly sliced lemon

1/2 cup water

Do not core tomatoes. Tie spices and ginger root in a spice bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, pineapple or 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 the spice bag. Remove the tomatoes from the syrup. Boil syrup 2 to 3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes to syrup and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, skim foam if necessary.

Ladle hot preserves into hot, sterilized pint-size canning jars, leaving 1/2 -inch head space. Wipe rims and treads of jars with a clean, damp cloth. Place lids on jars with sealing compound next to glass.

Screw bands down evenly and firmly -- just until fingertip tight. This allows the lids to vent during processing. Process 20 minutes in a boiling water canner, being sure water covers jars by at least 1 inch. Remove jars carefully from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check to make sure all seals are tight.

Per 1 tablespoon (with pineapple): 35 calories; 0 grams protein; 0 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 9 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams fiber; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 2 milligrams sodium

Recipe requests

Joan Lawless of Pikesville is looking for a recipe she has lost for beef barbecue. It was made in a crockpot, using chuck roast. The sauce contained Coca-Cola and other ingredients.

Ray Donik of Pikesville would like to have a recipe for candied orange slices like the ones he purchased in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The orange slices were about 1/4 -inch thick, had no seeds, very little pith and thin skin. The slices were glazed and one half was dipped in chocolate.

If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request for a recipe, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names must accompany recipes to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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