Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tomato and green apple jam


I must confess that I only learned to eat tomatoes (like so many other things) when I was already grown up. Really grown up, I mean. I was a picky eater as a child, and my poor parents were desperated, especially with tomatoes. I remember just so clearly  my father's frustration whenever he offered me the best of summer ripen tomato, open in half with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, as the best dish in the world. I was young, but not enough not to realize that I had to do my best to eat it. But for me, it was a viscous thing, with uncertain taste, which I could  never really eat. As soon as I felt it in my motuh, I felt sick, and I could see my father's disappointment. Even today he eats so often tomatoes in summer, freshly picked, chosen at the point that he likes, but now he just does not invite me to try.
I can now eat them, but still they are not one of my favorite snacks. And the proof is that I can only eat them ripe, very ripe.  Still green and crisp tomatoes are a test that I failed to overcome. Another unforgivable stain on my record of culinary tastes.
What I really love  is to make jams and jellies. Never prepare them for preserving, though. At one time in my life I spent too many summers preparing canned fruit so I think I'm done for my entire existence. No, sterilized jars, then boiling and everything else is not for me.


But adding sugar to fruits and allow to slowly cook them in their own juice, for that, I am always ready. In fact, in most recipes that include jam, I prepare it myself at the moment. This way, I can give it the sweetness that I like, and just the texture that is usually lost in the manufacturing process.

And yet, I never did before a tomato jam, even though I wanted long ago. Simply I  had not done it yet. But a few days ago, at the site of Saveur Magazine I  saw this tomato and green apple jam, and I had to try it. Mine is quite different from the original, which is much more spicy and perfect to accompany savory dishes, but I just add green apple as an alternative to the idea I had in mind.
You can see the result below. A highly recommendable jam, not overly sweet, and delicious to replace oil and tomato on toast for breakfast for a couple of days.

Tomato and green apple jam

Ingredients

1 kg. ripe red tomatoes
2 medium green apples (Granny Smith), peeled and diced
500 grams superfine sugar

Directions

Peel the tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Score the bottom of each tomato with an X.  Once water is boiling, drop tomatoes in for 15-30 seconds; remove with tongs and immediately plunge into cold water.  Slip off the peels with your hands, then roughly chop the peeled tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, apple, and sugar to a medium saucepan set over medium heat and stir to combine.  Bring mixture to a boil very slowly, then lower heat and gently cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the mixture is thick and jammy.  When the jam is ready, remove from heat and, if desired, use a  fork to break down tomato and apple chunks to your preferred consistency and leave to cool.

Tip: This jam is perfect on a slice of bread freshly toasted and a little Brie or other creamy cheese. But try also to add a few tablespoons of jam to a vinaigrette for the salad. Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablesppon apple vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the jam. Salt and pepper, emulsified and pour over salad just before serving. Can not be easier nor tastier.


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