Saturday, August 15, 2009
Spiced Tomato Butter
I finally canned something on the new stove. It went well, and I didn't forget any steps-like riding a bicycle I guess.
I made a half batch of the original recipe, and I went ahead and canned it in a water bath (the original recipe from 1963 did not require it, but times have changed) for ten minutes with a five minute cool-down in the canner. It has a good amount of vinegar in the recipe along with sugar so I feel confident that it will be safe. I cannot however guarantee it, as it isn't a tested recipe. Use your noggin. Make sure to use a vinegar with an appropriate acidity for canning as well.
Okie dokie, you want to know what it tastes like. I did not eat any (yet) but Mr. Eat The Blog sampled some and said he liked it. As I type, he just sampled more on a cheese sandwich and said, "This is really good." See! I told him it would be good. He never believes me when I tell him what to do and what to like ;).
Danny liked it as well, though he said it is a "breakfast-y food". We're envisioning it as a spread on good bread with cheese, but it would also go well with a slow roasted meat-maybe replacing the chili sauce and sweet wine in a brisket. It certainly has potential.
I ended up using the black Crimean tomatoes rather than the Roma because we just had more than we could eat-that was a good decision as the tomatoes are more flavourful. The colour is obviously darler, but I think the rich crimson is attractive.
Now, about the technique. This is an old recipe, and it says to grind the tomatoes and onions with nary a mention of removing the seeds. I removed about half, which really turned out fine. You could, if you want a smooth butter rather than chunky, cook and mash the tomatoes and then put it through a food mill to get pulp. It would undoubtedly cook faster than the four and a half hours I spent with mine. I sort of like the look of chunkier butters, but that's really no big deal.
I'll post the original proportions but I would definitely put it through a water bath canner-be safe, not sorry.
Adapted from Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook, 1963
Full recipe yields aprox. 5 pints. half recipe gave me 2 1/2
You Will Need:
5 quarts ground ripe tomatoes
3 medium onions, ground
1 pt. vinegar (I used cider 5% acidity)
3 cups brown sugar (I used dark)
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon salt
Peel and grind tomatoes (I blanched them in hot water first-easier) and onions. In a very large heavy pot, combine sugars, salt, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and onions and reduce to a simmer. Cook several hours until thick and mounds on a spoon. In the last hour, you'll need to keep stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Use a long-handled spoon-it spits.
Pour into hot sterilised jars, remove air bubbles and wipe treads. process in a boiling water canner 10 minutes . Cool five minutes in the pot with the heat turned off before removing to a towell covered hard surface away from drafts. Let cool 12-24 hours before checking for seals.