It’s tomato season. Michael and I have managed to drag ourselves out of bed early a few day and made several trips out to Gilcrease Orchard to pick tomatoes. The plants are falling over under the weight of all the ripe tomatoes and you have to get out early to pick before it heats up!
While Michael was set to make tomato sauce, I needed something a little more creative and started researching tomato jams. Then…I came across a recipe for tomato marmalade and I was hooked. I had to make it. The recipe however was by a jam and jelly expert and was a two day process. Unfortunately, that did not fit in my schedule, so I searched and found a recipe to adapt, and here’s how it goes….
6 or so medium tomatoes
2 navel oranges
3 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Score an “X” on the bottom of each tomato and drop them for a minute or two in a pot of boiling water. Drain them and when you can touch them (they will be hot to start), peel off the skins. You don’t want the skins in the jam.
Chop or pull apart the tomatoes reserving the juice and toss them in a large pot.
Now it’s time to slice the fruit. Quarter the lemon and oranges, then slice them cross wise in 1/8 inch slices. You will have lots of little triangle slices of citrus.
Dump them in the pot too and turn on the heat to medium high.
Add the sugar and the salt and start stirring. You will continue to stir until the sugar is all melted. You will be surprised how quickly this solid mass melts into a juice.
Once the sugar has melted, lower the heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes. As it gets closer to finishing, you need to monitor it more closely so it won’t burn.
While it starts cooking, put a couple small plates in the freezer (No, I’m not crazy, this is for testing when the marmalade is done)
When you think the marmalade has reached the appropriate consistency, you pull out a plate, blob a spoonful of marmalade on it and tip it. If the marmalade runs, it’s not ready.
Toss them in the fridge to use right away, or you can jar them for long term by sterilizing your jars in a hot water bath. Here’s a link if you want to get into the canning https://www.freshpreserving.com/preserving-jam-maker-recipes.html
(Keep in mind that you do the boiling water bath with the jars under at least an inch of water because this forces the air out reducing the oxygen in the jar so that you don’t have to worry about mold. This is in addition to sealing the jars. Without this method you are likely to grow mold on your jams)
I found an amazing combination with this marmalade on an herbed goat cheese. The whole bite turned to this amazing juice in my mouth. I highly recommend trying it!
Crazy tip: If you neglect your marmalade and it starts to burn on the bottom, don’t give up! I burned mine a little and stirred it in without realizing, my marmalade carmelized a bit but was still tasty and did not taste burnt. So don’t panic! Let it cool a bit and taste, you may be fine.
We had pulled out several rosés to do a comparative tasting. We are definitely on a rosé kick these days. We had picked up a Josh Rosé from California, a Grifone Rosé from Italy and a Larner Vineyard Rosé from Santa Barbara.