Tomato Jam

Yes, tomatoes are a fruit not a vegetable. Something that was in the pipeline and on the T0-Make list for many years.

A craving that my South African husband had, something from his growing up years and something that was available from the cottage industry there.

I am very thankful of a wedding gift – Cook And Enjoy It by S.J.A. de Villiers (revised edition). Mrs de Villiers is to South African as Julia Childs is to the USA. This book is the bible for South African cooks. I have learnt many basic techniques from this cookbook and like anyone who cooks, made my own adaptations to her recipes.

This recipe that I share follows her basic guidelines of 1 portion sugar to 2 portions fruit.

Ingredients: makes one 250 ml jar/bottle of jam

500 g tomato (as ripe as you can get)

250g white sugar

1 lemon

3 slices ginger

Method:

  • To remove skin of tomato, cut slits at bottom of tomatoes and boil in water till the skin breaks.
  • Discard the skin and top (white) portion of tomato. Cut into small chunks.
  • Layer tomato chunks and sugar in a deep saucepan (2 litre or 2 quart size).
  • Zest the lemon and add the zest to the tomato.
  • Juice the lemon and add the juice into the saucepan.
  • Add the ginger slices.

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  • Cover and leave for a few hours or refrigerate overnight. This allows the ‘citric acid’  or pectic from the lemon juice to act and will in turn help to thicken the jam.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil then turn it to a low boil. The sugar will boil and be extremely hot, so do be careful and watch that it doesn’t overflow. The jam needs to boil to thicken, it must not be on simmer.
  • To test if done, use the cold water method or sugar thermometer (105ºC or 220ºF). When the jam has thickened, drop some into a bowl of water. If it spreads, it needs to be cooked some more. If it stays in a blob, it’s ready. Remove from heat.

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  • To sterilise the glass jar, a quick & easy way is to fill the jar 3/4 full with water and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Be careful when you discard or pour away the water.
  • Pour the cooked jam immediately into the sterilised jar and cover.

Enjoy the jam!

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