Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tomato Jelly (Jam)

I have tried making tomato jam before before and taste is actually quite good considering it was made with tomatoes. I was reluctant to make tomato jelly to begin with but with the amount of tomatoes I had on hand and with the choice to either use them quickly or compost them I decided on making jelly. We had run out of jelly and it seemed the perfect time to make some.

There are recipes for tomato-jalapeno jelly, but I don't much care for sweet spicy jelly so decided to stick with tomatoes. They were good. Making tomato jam is easier because there is no straining and the skin and seeds are not removed like in the recipe linked above.

A jelly on the other hand requires straining to remove the seeds and skin but the jelly is smooth and shiny and doing away with some of the tomato seeds did not seem like a bad idea. I used home grown Abraham Lincoln tomatoes. I am not sure how the tomatoes got that name but the ridges on the tomato do look like Lincoln's beard :) They are delicious tomatoes, bright red when ripe and without too much liquid in them. Perfect for making pickles or jellies.

I did not add pectin because the tartness from the tomatoes and the lemon juice were sufficient. Refer to this ketchup post about how to strain and get out the pulp. For the jelly recipe there is no need to blend but if you want to use a hand blender to break it down that should be fine as well.

Tomato Jelly
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:1 1/2 - 2 hrs
  1. 5 lbs of tomatoes
  2. 3 - 3 1/2 cups of sugar
  3. 2 tbsp of lemon juice

  1. In a thick bottomed pot cut the tomatoes and cook them for about 30-45 minutes till the tomatoes disintegrate and it gets mushy. Let come to room temperature. If needed use a hand blender to break down the tomatoes further. I did not use a blender but used the back of a ladle to mash it a bit.
  2. Now run the cooked tomatoes through a strainer to remove the seeds and skin.
  3. Take the strained tomatoes, sugar and half of the lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pot and continue cooking till the mixture becomes nice and shiny. This will take another 20-30 minutes. Do a thickness test. In a small bowl with cold water drop a few drops of the cooking mixture. If it does not dissolve it is ready. Continue cooking till the jelly thickens to a consistency you prefer.
  4. The jelly continues to thicken as it cools, so turn off the heat when it is close to the stage you want.

Great on some buttered toast or with pancakes or with dosai and roti as well.

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