Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lois and Linda’s Tomato Marmalade

Lois Elsa Hole was an extraordinary woman whose accomplishments as an academician, 
Now you see it ... now you dont!
entrepreneur, politician, gardener, best-selling author, and wife (not necessarily in that order) were legendary. Her engaging personality made her greatly loved and respected among Canadians and particularly Albertans. Rather than recite her many achievements, I invite you to put her name into a search engine and prepare to have your socks blown off.

Lois Holes recipe for Tomato Marmalade is a favorite of my very good friend, Linda Walkem Hall. A great gardener herself, Linda has a prized copy of one of Hole’s several books, Vegetable Favorites, which is where this recipe originates. Ever heard of marmalade made with tomatoes? Me, neither. 

Although Lois Holes original recipe was excellent, what appears below is Lindas tweak of that recipe. I’ve tasted what Linda did - she recently favored us with a jar of this excellent marmalade - and I can promise it is superb

Not surprisingly, this marmalade went very fast. I poured it over a brick of cream cheese to serve with crackers, but am sure it would also make an excellent accompaniment for meats and fish, as well as being hard to beat in a peanut butter sandwich. 

Fall tomatoes are at their peak right now in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live. If you’re going to make just one batch of preserves this year, make it this recipe. Youll love it! The several hours this needs on the stove is no mistake - preserved tomatoes need long, slow cooking no matter how “ready” they look after 10 minutes. Im not a food scientist, Dollinks, but tomatoes’ lengthy cooking time has to do with food safety. If you remain unconvinced, read all about it by perusing credible Internet sources

Lois and Linda’s Tomato Marmalade:

12-to-16 ripe medium-to-large tomatoes 
2 lemons
1-½ tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
¼ c. plus 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 
3 c. granulated sugar 

Blanch, peel, and coarsely chop enough tomatoes to equal 12 c. (see Note). Bring tomatoes just to the boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hr. or until tomatoes are reduced to about 8 c.  

Wash lemons, removing pips and chopping finely. Peel ginger, chopping finely. Add lemons, ginger, cider vinegar and sugar to tomatoes in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Immediately reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook,  uncovered and stirring frequently, 2-to-3 hr. on low heat until thick. To check the marmalade’s “set point,” see the recipe for Dundee Marmaladebelow.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars; seal and label (see Further Note). Makes about five 8-oz. jars. Store sealed jars no longer than one year at room temperature; store unsealed jars no longer than two weeks in the refrigerator.

Note: Blanching is an important step to preserve the taste and nutritional value of foods intended for long-term storage through canning or freezing. To blanch tomatoes, plunge them into boiling water for 15-to-20 sec., and then immediately into an ice water bath. With foods such as fresh beans, this halts the cooking process to keep them crisp. With foods such as tomatoes, blanching also allows you to peel away the skin much more easily. 
Further Note: Welcome to Home Canning 101! Experienced canners know the ropes, but if you’ve never preserved foods before, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the box of jars or lids. 

Tomato Marmalade: Soon to be your go-to favorite!

The bounty from Linda’s country kitchen

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