The beauty of long weekends

Two days without work is one thing. Three days is something completely different, and 40+ jars of tomatoes and tomato sauce obviously were not going to be enough. It was time to finish up those tomatoes, time to experiment, and time to have a little fun.

First up were the elephant plums I bought at the farmers’ market on Saturday — they look beautiful and they have a wonderful summer-fall taste.  After careful consideration, I decided to pair them with ginger, and I decided to wing it with the recipe because I really have not got a clue what elephant plums really are. (Edit: After a few internet investigations, I think they might actually be pluots, which are a plum apricot cross. If so, may I recommend pluots as a fruit to jam.)

I’ve had success with other fruits with a 4-3-2 mix (4 cups fruit, three cups sugar and juice of two lemons), so that was what I did, chopping the fruit and adding a half cup of chopped up candied ginger for a bit of a kick. I brought the mix up to a boil until it stopped foaming and let it boil for another 3 minutes or so until I thought I had a set. It’s a little runny, if truth be told, but nothing wrong with that.

And I think I consider this to be success — a glorious deep red jam with a little bit of a bite from the chewy ginger chunks. I think I should cut the sugar next time though. The ginger has sugar after all. It would be a little less of a jam.

From there things moved on at lightning pace as we processed the rest of the tomatoes and saving a few for a peach tomato salsa with a slightly-too-gentle kick. It was also a made up recipe of sorts, in that I took my favorite bits of two that I found online and hoped for the best.

Peach tomato salsa (inspired by the blueberry files and long distance table)

5 cups chopped, peeled peaches (half were ripe, half less so)
3 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 chopped, peeled apple
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sriracha (1-1/2 tsp would have been better)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar (I used a mix of white and brown)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients except the cilantro and simmer for 15 minutes or so until thick. Add cilantro, and bottle in hot jars. Water bath 15 minutes.

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4 Comments »

  1. Sriracha is a good idea for a hot-pepper substitute! (I didn’t put enough jalapeno in my first round of peach salsa)
    As for me, the Jersey can-o-rama has pretty much filled my cupboard. I have canned tomatoes, some creole tomato sauce (nice kick, with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce), some chili coriander chutney (household favorite), peach jam with ginger, a peach salsa that we didn’t have the energy to cook, so hopefully water-bathing it fresh is ok, also a spicy tomato salsa (ditto) and another tomato salsa that was so vinegary that I turned it into a kind of chutney.
    But I do have a bunch of apples and I would like to freeze some apple sauce. I’ve also had a request to try a curry apple chutney recipe. Hard to believe, but I am about out of jars. We will have to consume some jam, salsa and chutney!

  2. reno21 said

    I have become a great fan of sriracha to add kick to just about anything. It’s a rounder taste than tabasco somehow. I can’t believe it took me til this year to discover it.

    Curried apple chutney is seriously good. Worth doing.

  3. My first batch of non-peach salsa this year was tasty, but way too mild. I went heavy on the chopped, dried Thai peppers for the next batch.

    I’m curious about the sugar. Is it a really sweet salsa or does the sugar just bring out other flavors?

  4. reno21 said

    Looking back on things, the sugar came from the other recipe, although I cut it down to one cup from 3-1/2. I think it brings out the flavors rather than adding too much sweetness. But I also admit I’m a little underwhelmed with the finished product. It’s a little heavy on the cilantro, which from me (a big cilantro lover) is saying something, and it’s light on both the onion and the chilli bite. Maybe I should stick to recipes for salsas until I feel a little more confident about them.

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