Food, Glorious Food: Tomato Marmalade

My brother decided early this year that he would grow a garden for the family. Growing up, we had fresh tomatoes and peppers all summer long. I remember eating raw banana peppers while watching “Pocahontas” on VHS and today, I still love the taste of warm, just out of the garden veggies.

Upon returning from vacation, we’ve been swamped with the plethora of veg Zac brings in everyday.

The tomatoes in particular are coming up roses. There are several varieties of heirloom tomatoes with names like German Johnson. I just love how they look and wanted to find a way to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit. I decided to adapt a berry marmalade recipe with terrific results.

Recipe adapted from Sweet Savory Life

2 Cups of fresh crushed tomatoes (it took three well-sized tomatoes for me to get the proper amount. I also hand-crushed the tomatoes, just for fun)

2 Cups of sugar (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup dark brown)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice.

Essentially, I cooked the tomatoes on high for a few minutes and then lowered the temperature for about fifteen minutes, as the original recipe stated. I poured the mixture into a heat-proof container and let it cool overnight in the fridge. This did not get the result I was wanting. The favor was intense yet the mixture was still watery. My mother recommended that I treat the mixture like her special fig jam, which she cooks down for hours until it is the perfect consistency. So I did just that, cooking it for about an hour on a low temperature and guess what? Perfect consistency! The richness of the tomatoes and sugar is quite unlike any other fruit jam I’ve tasted. It has an almost molasses essence, possibly due to the brown sugar, and a deep burgundy brown hue. There are many things you could use this marmalade in, but I think I may put it in a tart with Pecorino or Parmesan cheese melted on top. My brother slathered toast with cream cheese, the marmalade, cayenne pepper, and salt. The spice was an excellent pairing. This should remain fresh for about a week in the fridge covered, though I doubt it will last past tomorrow with my family! Let me know what you think of the recipe and what you think I should pair with it!