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Green Tomatoes Show Their Sweet Side

We finally had a bit of frost this week, so those of you with vegetable gardens should be thinking about tucking your beds up for the winter.  If your tomato plants were anything like mine, you had a bumper crop this summer, perhaps to make up for last year’s blight fiasco. And after months of meals that included tomatoes at every sitting, I was, quite frankly, glad to see the end of them. But being a thrifty sort I couldn’t bear to toss the loads of green fruit still hanging on the vines.

Last week you met Joe Tomas of Wilton who salts his green tomatoes to eat through the winter. I promised you a recipe for something a little sweeter. I’ve made three batches of this enough for the family and as gift -- it really is the most delicious thing.  Here goes:

Green Tomato Marmalade

4 quarts green tomatoes, chopped into small pieces

4 organic lemons, sliced into small pieces

½ lb citron peel, rinsed

12 cups of sugar

Put the chopped tomatoes into a pan, cover with boiling water, bring back to a boil for 5 minutes then drain.  Return tomatoes to pan with lemon, citron and sugar. Bring to a boil and then cook gently, stirring regularly, until the marmalade sets – about two hours. To test for setting, spoon onto a cold dish and put in fridge. If after five minutes the jam is no longer runny, it’s ready to put in jars.

While the pot is bubbling, wash your glass jars and lids in soapy water, rinse well and put the jars on a tray in a warm oven for 10 minutes. Pour the hot marmalade into the jars, wipe the tops with a clean damp cloth and seal. Process in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

I use a collection of recycled jars so I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll end up with, but it’s enough to keep your breakfast toast happy all winter.  Just be wary of handing it out as gifts. Your friends will be back asking for more.

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