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Green Tomato Marmalade

Green Tomato Marmalade – TheMessyBaker.com

Despite the amber hue of the resulting preserves, this is green tomato marmalade. And no, I didn’t use the teeny-tiny yellow tomatoes on the left. They’re just there for show.

Instead, I used small to mid-sized green tomatoes like the ones below. I figured since I could leave the skin on, I’d use tomatoes that would require peeling when ripe. Just because I take the time to make my own marmalade doesn’t mean I can’t be lazy about some things.

Green Tomato Marmalade – TheMessyBaker.com

With my dining room window sill loaded with green tomatoes and lot of of blogger buzz about tomato jam, I thought I’d try a batch of green tomato preserves. Besides, I’m too impatient to wait for them to ripen.

During my research, none of the recipes I found called for pectin. But they all required ridiculously long cooking times. One variation would have taken me six hours if I’d followed their advice. (2 hours to cook, 2 hours to cool, 2 more hours of cooking. Are they crazy?)

I settled on two hours — total. I figured this was the amount of time it would take to watch a movie on DVD. I’d just pop in on things occasionally to avoid writing another “Kitchen Disaster” post. In reality, it was the amount of time it took to prep, cook, eat, makes notes about and clean up the Fried Green Tomato Parmesan I was making at the same time.

Despite my improvisation, the marmalade cooked up nicely. Things would have gone even better if someone had mentioned that you should cut the green tomatoes into small chunks. I knew they hold their shape from my Parmesan dish, but even when boiled like a witches brew these little green monsters don’t break down. Of course I didn’t take their freakishly firm structural integrity into account when I quartered the tomatoes. My solution? Pureeing the chunks into submission with an immersion blender.

The resulting marmalade has a citrusy tang but isn’t sickly sweet. To my delight, it holds together much better than my liquid ketchup. While it freed up a good half-foot of window sill, I’m now running out of cupboard space. Guess I’ll have to host a tea party to use up all my butterscotch peach jam and green tomato marmalade. The runny tomato and peach ketchup is reserved for chicken.

What’s your opinion on marmalade? Do you have a favourite flavour?

Green Tomato Marmalade – TheMessyBaker.com

Green Tomato Marmalade
Author: 
Recipe type: Preserves
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 7 8-ounce (250 mL) jars
 
This marmalade is the perfect way to use up green tomatoes. Lemon, orange and ginger turn green tomatoes into a wonderful marmalade you can enjoy year round.
Ingredients
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 pounds green tomatoes, cut into small pieces (about 9 cups)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the top layer of rind from the oranges and lemon, being careful not to remove any of the bitter, white pith. Sliver the peels. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, boil the slivered peel in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  3. Core the green tomatoes, then cut them into small pieces. Make sure these pieces are the size you want in your jam.
  4. Place the citrus peel, pulp, green tomatoes, sugar, and ginger in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered until the jam sets. The timing will vary greatly depending on how green your tomatoes are and how big you cut them. Mine took 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the preserving jars. See the notes section for a link if you aren’t familiar with canning procedures.
  6. When the mixture reaches the setting point, fill the prepared jars with hot marmalade, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturer’s directions.
  7. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Notes
Click here for a video on how to segment citrus fruit..
Click here for details on how to prepare mason jars for preserving.

 

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40 Responses to Green Tomato Marmalade

  1. Cheryl October 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    I’m so excited about your re-design. It’s absolutely beautiful.
    What do you serve your marmalade with/on? Not toast, right? Meat? Something else savory?

  2. Charmian Christie October 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    Toast works, Cheryl. Or better yet scones!! It’s very much like a normal marmalade, only with seeds.

    Thanks for your enthusiastic response to my new blog. Still adding features (like a blog roll) and tweaking. Melissa did a great job on the header. Credit goes to her.

  3. Terry October 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    Wow — I love this new website, too. Great job. I’m excited about the marmalade too (I’m a huge marmalade fan with a bunch of green tomatoes myself).

    • Charmian Christie October 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks, Terry! I’m thrilled with the marmalade and the new site.

  4. The Diva on a Diet October 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Wow, congrats on the big move, Charmian! The new site looks gorgeous! Really, its absolutely lovely. :)

    I’ve never had any other marmalade than the usual orange, which I do enjoy if its not too sweet. I’m really digging the ginger here and would probably add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to mine as well. I tend to favor the spicy/sweet/tart combos.

    As always, beautiful pics, Charmian.

    • Charmian Christie October 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

      @The Diva on a Diet, thanks so much for your encouragement.

      Love the idea of adding a bit of heat. If I make a second batch, I’ll try a hot pepper. Great suggestion!

  5. Peggasus October 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    I agree too, the site looks great! I especially like the calligraphy of the name.

    Years ago, I read a tip somewhere about wrapping green tomatoes (separately) in newspaper and keeping them in a coolish, dark place where they would ripen. It worked, too! I think I actually had a few in January that year!

  6. Robin Smart October 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    Hey Sis,
    The site looks great. Clean and sharp (except for the coffee rings up top – WHICH I LOVE). Very nice job. I’m impressed.
    Happy stirring, baking, braising, boiling, grilling, chopping etc etc and especially eating on this new site.
    Love,
    Robin

    • Charmian Christie October 3, 2009 at 8:16 am #

      Thanks Robin. Your early feed back was spot on. I’m so pleased that you like the coffee rings. That was Melissa’s idea. I said “messier” and she went messier.

      I won’t promise never to forget your birthday again, but I do promise some tasty dishes just because I love youl

    • Krista October 27, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      Small world, I didn’t expect to see my cousin, Robin Smart, commenting to the author when I randomly hit on this site looking for ways to use my abundance of green tomatoes… By any chance, is the Melissa referred to also my cousin?? Crazy fun.
      From a random new fan in Virginia!

      • Charmian Christie October 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

        I welcome random fans! I hate to break it to you, but the Robin Smart who commented is not your cousin. I know this because she’s my sister. However, we adopt lots of people as honorary cousins, so join the clan!

        Hope you and my new Virginia cousins like the marmalade. :-)

  7. laura October 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    Hmmm this seems much different than the recipe I made last year. I wonder if I made mincemeat last year? I think I’ll give it a shot.
    Gorgeous pictures by the way, love your blog.

    • Charmian Christie October 3, 2009 at 8:12 am #

      Laura, I’ve never made traditional mincemeat because it calls for suet. You could have just used a really sweet recipe. One I read called for equal parts green tomatoes and sugar. Ick. This was plenty sweet enough.

  8. Cheryl Arkison October 3, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Wow, the site looks great!
    We’ve both obviously got marmalade on the mind! I just posted my inspiration and experiment with tomatoe marmalade.

  9. Fiona October 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    i tried this recipe last night after receiving a bucket of green tomatoes from a friend. The marmalade is incredible! Very tangy like you say and has a lovely caramelised hue to it. Delicious.

    • Charmian Christie October 9, 2009 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks for letting me know how things turned out, Fiona. This was my first marmalade and I am thrilled to know you liked it as much as I did.

  10. Maggie October 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    I’ve tried tomato jam but never tomato marmalade. I love making marmalade and can’t wait for the Seville oranges in the winter. I have also made lime marmalade and grapefruit marmalade. I think my favorite is Delia’s dark and chunky marmalade. Time consuming but delicious.

    • Charmian Christie October 10, 2009 at 9:50 am #

      Maggie, I’ve never been all that into preserves, but not that I’ve started? I’m hooked. I adore grapefruit and would love to try it. Sames goes for ginger.

      What is Delia’s? Do you have a link? You’ve got me curious.

      • sophie stokes October 22, 2010 at 8:00 am #

        @Charmian Christie,

        Delia is a British Cook -Delia Smith, she’s been around for many years and has done some great recipes.

  11. lochy October 27, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    Hi, can you please tell me where you purchased your jars from? Thank you.

    • Charmian Christie October 27, 2009 at 9:35 am #

      Lochy, I’ve had those jars for ages. They’re made by Bernardin (http://www.homecanning.com/can/ALProducts.asp) and I picked them up either at the grocery store or at Canadian Tire Hardware.

      From your email address, I see you’re in Australia, so I’m not sure how helpful this information is to you. Canning jars should be readily available at grocery stores, kitchen shops or the kitchen section of the hardware store at the beginning of canning season. However, they tend to be hard to find at other times. Good luck!

  12. bakingbarb September 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I was refreshing my memory for making oven roasted tomatoes when I found this recipe. WHOOO the PNW had a very cool summer which means plenty of green tomatoes. This is going to part of a homemade Christmas for my family and friends. Thank you for a lovely recipe.

  13. sophie stokes October 22, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I’m making this right now! as I type. It smells amazing and was such a relief to find something tasty finding. I had so many green tomatos and its just been too cold for them to ripen now..but after maing 13 jars of chutney I knew I had to find an alternative….if the finished product tastes as good as whats going on in the pot now, I will be making this year after year!
    Love the site xxx

    • Charmian Christie October 22, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      @sophie stokes, 13 jars of chutney? You’re a force.

      Hope the recipe tastes as good as it smells. Last year I was desperate to find ways to use my green tomatoes, so I know how you feel.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment. I’d love to hear your results.

      • sophie stokes October 22, 2010 at 11:37 am #

        @Charmian Christie,

        its so delicious, although I must admit mine doesn’t look quite as golden as yours…well, at least the juice is golden but theres a lot of tomato, in it! but my jars dont look as pretty as the ones in your pics! I had some on warm toast as soon it was made and was extremely satisfied!
        As for the chutney -its a family favourite recipe where you grill the tomatoes beforehand, giving it a lovely smokey edge, adapted from someone elses recipe…if this year is anything to go by, we will get through the majority of the jars, so I’m not worried!

        • Charmian Christie October 22, 2010 at 11:43 am #

          @sophie stokes, thanks for writing back. I’m so glad you like the recipe.

          The grilled tomatoes sound wonderful in your chutney. I love a bit of smokiness in food.

          Happy eating and thanks again for taking the time to comment and give feedback!

  14. Linda October 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    I tried this green tomato marmalade and it is very bitter. I used this recipe before I found yours. What do you think? I’m including the ingredients without the directions. Cook 25 minutes. It is very bitter, I’m sure from the citrus pith.

    2 lbs. green tomatoes, chopped
    1 orange, thinly sliced
    1 lemon, thinly sliced
    1-1/2 cups sugar
    3-4 tablespoons good wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon each salt, and ground cloves
    pinch cayenne pepper

    • Charmian Christie October 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

      @Linda, interesting question. If you simply sliced the orange and lemon and used all the parts, it would be bitter because you’re including the pith. My recipe calls for peeling off the rind — no pith– and extracting the pulp. Again, no pith.

      The bitterness is also likely more noticeable since the recipe you provide calls for more citrus and less sugar per pound of green tomatoes. Crystallized ginger adds a bit of sugar, too. Mine is a fairly sweet marmalade.

      With fresh ginger, cayenne, wine vinegar and cloves, this sounds like an interesting marmalade with a bit of tang / zing. If you avoid using the pith, it should be good.

      Hope this answers your question. Thanks for providing the recipe so I had a fighting chance at an answer.

  15. Karen J. Boston October 31, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    I made the marmalade according to directions and it only took about 2 hours cooking time to thicken….however, mine was very dark, almost black…does anyone have a possible explanation??? It doesn’t look very appetizing…..i did use green cherry tomatoes rather than the larger ones, but would that make a difference??? Perhaps ratio of skin to pulp or something like that???

    • Charmian Christie October 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

      @Karen J. Boston, good question.

      I made mine with medium to large tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes. The only thing I can think that would be different enough to affect the final product is the sugar ratio. Cherry tomatoes are very sweet compared to other tomatoes. When sugar caramelizes it turns dark brown, so the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the higher natural sugar ratio changed the color during the long cooking process.

      I hope you at least like the taste of the marmalade. I hate to think of you spending all that time and effort for ugly preserves you don’t like.

      Thanks for posting your question. If anyone else has an idea, I’d love to hear from you.

  16. Jenn November 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    I found your recipe, looking for something to replicate what I ate in France, ten years ago. This is right on! It’s a bit bitter, but that’s what I was looking for. I added the pith and seeds, tied up in a cheesecloth, while it cooked, to help it thicken up a bit more. Thanks so much for the recipe!
    Jenn recently posted…The RejectsMy Profile

  17. rex September 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Your recipe is not explicit enough. I sliced the oranges and lemons and put in the mix pith and all. I tried to remove most of the pith I hope it turns out

    • Charmian Christie September 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Sorry the instructions weren’t clear enough. I hope the marmalade isn’t too bitter with the pith included.

      In step one, you remove the zest from the citrus with a vegetable peeler, being careful to leave the pith behind. In step 2 you remove the pulp, again leaving the pith behind. Here’s a link to a post with a video that shows you how to do this.

      http://christiescorner.com/2011/03/10/orange-and-carrot-salad/

      I hope this helps.

  18. Annie November 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    I have a lot of green tomatoes that I saved from the last frost. Now I wish I had saved a lot more. Printing this to try right now…

  19. Catherine October 14, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    there seems to be a lot of sguar in this recipe. Has anyone tried reducing the amount? also, when I make aple jelly I sometimes put a fresh hot red pepper in the bottom of the bottle and it really gives the jelly a hot smacking good flavor.

    I recently made Green Tomato jam, it was sweet, so I put a hot pepper in the bottom of the jar before adding the jam. Tasted nice, probably better with meats than as a sweet condiment. I’ll use it in place of or along side of cranberry relish with roast turkey.

    • Charmian Christie October 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      Love the idea of putting a hot pepper at the bottom. It sounds like a great way to make it more compatible with meats.

      I haven’t fiddled with the recipe to reduce the amount of sugar. If anyone else has, I’d love to hear about it.

  20. Michelle Mahan January 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    This recipe is absolutely amazing! During the summer my tomatoes utterly exploded and they kept producing into the fall. When my husband finally went and pulled the vines he had many bags of green tomatoes that I didn’t know what to do with. I hate fried green tomatoes and always have but I’m the type that can’t stand letting anything go to waste. So I did a Google search for green tomato recipes and thankfully I was brought to your site.

    I ended up making two batches of this marmalade. I did have to reduce the cooking time by about an hour. My first batch when I cooked for the 2 hours ended up being like glue once it got in the jars and set. We can still use it but we actually have to put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it before we can spread it. It still tastes amazing though. My second batch I only cooked for about an hour and it ended up being utterly perfect. The tomatoes I ended up using for the second batch weren’t completely green. They were partially ripe. The marmalade ended up a more reddish color that I thought was actually quite pretty. The taste was once again utterly and completely amazing. This recipe has actually become my favorite marmalade. I don’t know why I never considered how good it would be…tomatoes are actually a fruit. I’ve brought sample bites to some of my friends to let them try it and the process is usually pretty amusing. When I tell them it is tomato marmalade they will usually wrinkle their noses and make a face. However once they try it their eyes light up and they are begging me for a jar. :-)

    I still have a ton of ripe tomatoes in my freezer from this past summer that I have been using for sauces and chili. I’m thinking about pulling some out and trying the recipe again with completely ripe tomatoes.

    Have you ever done that?

    • Charmian Christie January 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      I’m so thrilled you like the recipe. I appreciate you taking the time to give the details of how the timing worked for you. I wonder if the brand of tomatoes makes a difference. I’ll make a note that timing varies. There are numerous ways to tell if a preserve like this has set, so I should give some tips on that, too!

      I’ve never made this with ripe tomatoes, but would be curious to see how it turns out. I suspect the ripe tomatoes wouldn’t set as well, but I’m now curious about the taste. If you do make a batch, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

      Love how your friends reacted to the concept more than the actual taste. I am guilty of this myself sometimes!

      Thanks again for sharing your experiences with this recipe! Happy marmalade making!!

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