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Friday, November 07, 2008

Tomato, apple & rosemary jam (confiture de tomates et pommes au romarin)

Confituretomatespommesromar

I'm not sure when it happened, but it appears I've become Amish, or at least Pennsylvania Dutch.  With all the stone fruits I got from Andy, citrus, apples, and quinces from Gene, and all the produce we get from the garden, I'm constantly making jams, confits, and preserves just to keep up.

The most recent attempt is to use up all the heirloom tomato fruits left on the vines when we had to pull them all out after the recent relentless rain.  They are very late season tomatoes - yes East Coasters and Europeans, you may hate us, we have good tomatoes all the way into October - so they are not exactly perfect enough to go right onto the table at Manresa.  But they are still superb tomatoes, after all, they are Cynthia's!  (And they are biodynamically grown, even, but you knew that already, right?)

So it's not a question that we would let them go to waste.  I hit the book and google, looking for interesting recipes to do with late-season ripe tomatoes.  I found it right there in my jam bible, Mes Confiture, by Christine Ferber.  She suggests tomatoes, apples, and rosemary.  Intriguing, no?  So I tried a test batch, a small amount of ripe tomatoes, adapting and reducing the recipe down to a manageable size.  They turned out perfect, the tomatoes beautifully caramelized, the apple pedals deliciously toothsome, and all perfumed ever so slightly by rosemary, which sounded a bit suspicious but in fact simply heavenly.  It's also super easy, no pectin or any ingredients you'd have to go on a hunt for, just tomatoes, apples, rosemary, lemon, and sugar.  Oh, yes, and a couple jars to keep your delicious concoction.

Yesterday I started a batch with nearly 20 kilos of tomatoes.  They'll be finished today in the kitchen at Manresa, and they will be available for sale at the restaurant in the coming weeks!  How exciting! 

This jam is so delicious you can just eat it out of the jar with a spoon, but it is also versatile enough to go on butterred toast or even as a condiment for roasted duck or meat.  I might even serve it with some goat cheese as appetizer.  That is if I didn't finish them all with a spoon...

Tomatesconfiture

Confiture de tomates rouges et pommes au romarin
Tomato, apple, and rosemary jam

1kg tomatoes, 500g net
500g granny smith apples, 400g net
550 sugar
2 lemons
2 sprigs of rosemary

Blanche the tomatoes, peel, and cut them into wedges.  Squeeze out excess juice and seeds.  Place tomato into a large non-reactive pot.  Squeeze lemon juice over the tomatoes.  Peel, quarter, slice apples into thin pedals  Toss the apple slices into the tomato-lemon juice mix as you add them to keep from turning brown. Add the sugar and two sprigs of rosemary.

Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture up to a gentle boil, stirring gently to make sure all the sugar is melted and incorporated.  Transfer the content into a large glass bowl, cover with a round of parchment paper and let stand over night in the fridge.

The next morning, transfer the content of the bowl from the fridge back into a large non-reactive pot.  Remove the rosemary sprigs and skim off the foam.  Bring the pot up to a boil and continue to cook until the apple slices are translucent.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the apples and tomatoes and set aside.  Cook the syrup remaining in the pot until it reaches 220F.  Return the apple and tomato flesh back into the pot and bring back up to a boil.  Skim, skim, skim.  Cook until the jam reaches 220F.

Before the jam is ready, sterilize three jam jars by boiling them for five minutes.  Then place the hot jars into a 250F oven for five more minutes.  When the jam is ready, add them to the hot jars right away.  Close the lids and turn the jars upside down until cool down completely.  Turn the jars back the right side up and keep in a cool, dark cabinet until you're ready to open them.

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