Red Tomato Marmalade
Once a year the current wife likes to invite her "birdwatching" friends to have "tea". She thinks that I buy the "birdwatching" and the "tea" part...but I just let it slide. She always says that she will buy some chips and cookies from the supermarket and that that will do. Yeah, right!
She knows that I won't allow that to happen so I offer my catering services to host her drinking friends...sorry..."birdwatching" friends. I wouldn't do this if I didn't like her friends, which I do and because I want to keep the marriage in a standby status...I don't make waves.
This year I cooked some very tasty and different dishes: I cooked Mexican corn on a stick (big hit), Poblano, Cheese and Corn Ebelskivers, Red Tomato Empanadas - a dish from Monterrey, Mexico and a Cognac Drunken B.C. Cherries and Equatorial Dark Chocolate Tart. I have to say... I was happy with the end results.
The "tea" party went well and the current wife's drinking friends...sorry....birdwatching friends were happy. Some even took some leftovers for their houses. I love when the food is all gone and the food is appreciated. It was great.
The recipes for all the other dishes eventually will make the blog, promise, but for now I'm just sharing my Red Tomato Marmalade (and...please all those British readers.... I know that you all call only "marmalade" if its made of citrus.... but this is actually called Marmalade...so call the Queen).
To prepare the Tomato Empanadas I had to cook first my marmalade, which took me a day and a half. It was completely worthwhile. The end result was fantastic and even I managed to preserve 3 small jars... honest, if you have the patience and the will or if you fear your wife...you will find that this jam is something else. I absolutely loved it.
The limes were from Mexico (where else?), the tomatoes were local, from the super famous Brian of West Vancouver (his fruits and veggies are nothing short of extraordinary), the coriander is from Guatemala -from my friend Esther-... sort of the perfect combo. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. If not, you can always buy a factory made jam.
Red Tomato Marmalade
Cooking Time: 120 Minutes Makes 3 pints (1.5 Kg)
1 kg Firm, ripe tomatoes*
4 Cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
57 G Pectin Crystals (1 box of Certo or similar)
* The original recipe I found called for the tomatoes to be peeled and seeded, but I decided not to do so to preserve the pectin that the fruit naturally has. And…also it called for lemons instead of limes… but I like limes better than lemons.
1. Thinly peel 2 of the limes and slice the peel (julienne) in thin strips. Squeeze the lime juice of the 3 limes.
2. In a non-corrosive pan, place the tomatoes with the sugar, the lime rind and the lime juice and slowly bring it to a boil, mixing now and then so the lime-sugar covers the tomatoes.
3. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-high, keep mixing until the tomatoes break and their juices start to combine with the lime-sugar mix. Skim the foam that forms on top.
4. In about half an hour or so, the mix will be all blended (you might see some tomato chunks…just break them with the wooden spoon to incorporate). Bring the mix to a boil and incorporate the pectin and the juice of the remaining lime. Stir like crazy so all incorporates well. Add the coriander and mix until incorporated.
5. Using your candy thermometer we’ll watch the temperature so it reaches 105 ˚C , therefore we will continue stirring until the water evaporates (it takes me about an hour of stirring and watching to get the consistency of jam).
6. To know when the jam is ready I use the “wrinkle” test, that is, I put a saucer in the fridge to cool and when I think that my jam is ready, I pour a teaspoon of the jam on the saucer and run my finger through it…when the jam separates and stays separate….then I know that my jam is ready).
7. Pour the jam into a square glass mold (the ones we use to bake Lasagna) and allow it to cool overnight. The next morning it should have the perfect consistency, then proceed to ladle into the jars and seal.
6.Enjoy!… This jam should have a shelf life of 2 years…but mine didn’t make the weekend.