I posted photos and ingredients of my favorite September past-time: making tomato-ginger chutney on my Facebook page. People wrote to ask for the recipe, so here it is (below).
Now this is appropriate. Did you know that tomatoes originated in Mexico as early as 700 AD? It’s no wonder I love this concoction.
I’ve been making this condiment for 40 years every September when there is a plethora of ripe garden tomatoes. It is a ritual that started in South Bend, Indiana, where I was a young mother and met my long-time friend, Natalie Klein. We would go to farmer’s market (or grow our own) and stock up on the harvest. Over the years, I’ve adapted the flavors of Natalie’s original recipe to make it my own.
Next week, I’m taking a road trip to Indiana where Natalie and I will have a jam-making reunion. (We are both virus-free, virus-safe, super-cautious.)
This is a perfect accompaniment to any meat, fowl or fish dish. Schmear it on a toasted bagel, with or without cream cheese. Use it as syrup over pancakes or French toast. Gift it for the holidays. Serve it at Thanksgiving alongside your turkey.
Prep time: About an hour. Cooking time: About an hour.
- 4 cups of peeled, cored and thinly sliced tomatoes (about 4-5 tomatoes)
- 4 cups sugar (I prefer organic, cane sugar)
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
- 1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 3 T. fresh grated ginger or 2 T. minced candied ginger
- 1 medium navel orange, sliced thin
- 1 small lemon, sliced thin
- 1/2 C. chopped fresh pineapple (optional)
- 3-4 whole cloves (optional)
To peel tomatoes, bring an 8-qt. pot of water to boil. Core whole tomatoes. Score an X at the blossom end with a sharp knife. Immerse in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove. Cool. Peel.
Add all ingredients to a stainless steel 4-6 qt. saucepan. Base of pan should have a thick aluminum core. Do not use a thin based pot or you will burn your ingredients. My preferred cooking vessels are made by All-Clad Aluminum, which I sold 40-years ago in my gourmet cookware shop and cooking school, The Clay Kitchen, South Bend, Indiana.
First cook over low heat until sugars begin to melt. Turn burner to medium-high heat and bring to boil. Adjust heat and allow mixture to cook at low boil for about 1 hour. You can stir occasionally to make sure mix isn’t sticking to bottom of pan. You need to check the pot periodically to be sure! Safe bet: Use a jelly thermometer. Mix is done when temp reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Preparation of jars: clean canning jars. Immerse in hot boiling water just before filling. Use new canning lids and bands. Immerse these in boiling water, too, to sterilize.
Use a canning funnel and insert it into the jars. Ladle mix into jars with about 1/4″ head space. Wipe rim with wet paper towel to clean off any jam residue. Place lid and band over jar top and tighten band so it is secure.
Immerse jars in an 8 qt. stock pot of boiling water. Cover. Process for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. You will hear the lids pop if the top is properly sealed. You can also press on the lid. If there is no movement, the top is sealed.
Yield: about 2 pints of jam. You can use 1/2 pint jelly jars to prepare for gifting. Natalie doesn’t do a water bath. She refrigerates jam. It will keep open and refrigerated for several months.