A Fruitful Week-End
Life is full of misconceptions, like the water flushes down in different direction depending on which hemisphere you're in, Ostriches hide their heads in the sand when they are scared, Mac computers get no viruses, all Parisian waiters are rude (wait... that might be true), and tomatoes are vegetables...
Well no: tomatoes are, botanically at least, fruits. The way we tend to cook them, confuses them with vegetables for most of us, as they have a low level of sugar.
They are not the only one that are wrongly called vegetables: eggplants, pumpkins or zucchini are part of that family too.
As the summer is now offering us all kinds of ripe fruits, it's the perfect time to make jam. My last week-end was almost entirely dedicated to it.
Apricot being my favorit one, it's always the one i like to start with. But my all tomato speech had point.
"Doce de tomate", tomato jam, is something i tasted for the first time years back in Lisbon, i was intrigued by it, but point is, it's really good. It is a bit time consuming to make, but you do have something original for a change in the end.
I'm no expert in jam making, i keep on using the "cold plate" trick to see when it's done, because to the naked eye, it can be difficult depending on the fruit you're cooking.
I sometimes have to cook it again, to have to right texture or I overcook it in the first place and end up with a bit of jelly. But it's all worth it, specially when you'll get to enjoy it during colder days.
Doce de Tomate, Tomato Jam
For about 2 Jars
1 Kilo of Tomatoes
500gr of Sugar
Juice of one Lemon
1 Stick of Cinnamon
Place a plate into the fridge or freezer.
You need to peel and take the seeds out of the tomatoes, that's the long part. Put water in a large pan, and place it on a high flame to bring it to the boil.
Prepare a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Cut a cross into each tomato, and when the water boils, plunge them in for about 1 minute. Take them out (carefully) and put them in the cold water.
This should allow you to peel them easily, and after remove the seeds. Weight how much tomato flesh you get. I ended up with 700gr of flesh, therefor i used 500gr of sugar.
Chop the flesh up roughly, place it into a large pan and add the lemon juice, the cinnamon stick aswell as the sugar.
This goes now on a medium to high flame to bring it to bubble. Afterwards, timewise it's hard to tell, you have to check it's consistency: place a drop of jam on the cold plate you had in the fridge and put it back in the fridge for about a minute to see if it's taken.
If so, pour it carefully into jars you have sterilized before, with boiling water for instance. Put the lid on, i turn them upside down so the hot jam is in contact of the lid and i let them cool over night, before placing them in my pantry.