The Milkweed Diaries

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Green Tomato Ginger Marmalade

In my ongoing quest to not waste food from the garden, I have been processing my way through pounds and pounds of green tomatoes picked before the first hard frost. I've been chopping and cooking and canning up a storm over the past week, and suffice to say that if you receive a holiday gift from me this year, it will probably involve green tomatoes.

My first experiment was a couple of huge pots of green tomato apple chutney yielding 38 half pint jars of sweet-sour chutney deliciousness. Next up: marmalade. Marmalade?! Yes, marmalade. In the search for creative green tomato uses, I came across this one and had to try it. And it turns out it's amazing.

This recipe is modified from one I found in Marilyn Kluger's classic food-preservation reference and recipe book, "Preserving Summer's Bounty", which is an indispensable resource in my kitchen. I added the ginger and some notes about how to process the lemons.

Green Tomato Ginger Marmalade
  • 6 pounds unpeeled green tomatoes
  • 6 lemons
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups honey
  • A generous handful of coarsely chopped crystalized (candied) ginger
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  1. Wash and chop the tomatoes. I used a food processor.
  2. Slice 6 lemons into thin slices, removing seeds and retaining as much of the peel as you want, depending on how bitter you like your marmalade
  3. Boil the lemons in the 1 cup water. Strain off any unwanted peels and seeds that you may have missed and keep the water, lemon pulp, and as many ribbons of peel as you want to retain (they're beautiful floating in the finished product)
  4. Stir the lemony water, honey, tomatoes, and powdered ginger together. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and clear. This takes a long time. I kept the marmalade on a low simmer for several hours, stirring every so often, and it reduced considerably and became more and more marmalade-like as it cooked.
  5. Add the candied ginger and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Pour hot marmalade into jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, adjust lids, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
What an unexpected and fabulous coping strategy for green tomato overload. So good I could eat it with a spoon (and have). The perfectly melded flavors of honey, lemon peel, and tart green tomatoes are a delight, and the ginger gives it an extra snap.

I still have five bushel baskets full of green tomatoes to process, even with all of the marmalade jarred up and cooling on the counter and enough chutney for years to come. So, dear reader, expect more green tomato recipes coming up!

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