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.
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?
- 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
- 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.
- In a small saucepan, boil the slivered peel in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- Core the green tomatoes, then cut them into small pieces. Make sure these pieces are the size you want in your jam.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, prepare the preserving jars. See the notes section for a link if you aren’t familiar with canning procedures.
- 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.
- Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.