Just a few short weeks ago I was drowning in beautiful sun-ripened tomatoes. Now, not so much. Tomatoes are one food that I refuse to eat when not in season, especially when dining out. Call me what you will, but I’ve worked in restaurants and there is nothing more unappetizing than a flavorless tomato that has ripened on a truck while crossing the country. Gross.
Knowing that my summer fling with tomatoes was nearing an end, I needed to find another way to preserve summer in a jar. I had already “put up” several quarts of Amish Paste tomatoes as well as made sauce and salsa. I began revisiting the tomato pages in my canning books and searching food blogs. Finally it hit me, I’ll make tomato butter. And so I did.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t all that impressed. Then I figured out the perfect way to eat it and ended up consuming an entire jar in 3 days! I’m left with 3 half pints and way too many winter months ahead of me! I’ve decided to ration it out by hiding it in my closet and attempting to forget about it! Let me tell you how well that is NOT working!
Honestly, I don’t recall if this is even the recipe I used. I know, I suck! Since it wasn’t love at first bite I ended up only making a small batch. I’m talking a measly 5 half pints. What a mistake that turned out to be! Total palm to forehead moment folks! I did however remember to write down the spices and their amounts since I was veering from a recipe. (FYI, when canning you should NEVER change amounts in a recipe without first checking with your local extension office first! I’ve learned that dried spices are okay but anything else is not, especially your ratio of acid to non-acid foods!)
Danielle’s Tomato Butter
5 lbs red tomatoes, skins and seeds removed
1 cup vinegar
3 cups sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
Here is what I think I did. Again, I know, sorry, I suck. : /
Blanche tomatoes, remove core, skin and seeds. Place tomatoes in a food processor and puree, then transfer into a crock pot. Cook on the low heat setting for several hours. I’m pretty sure I did this in the wee hours of the morning and then went to work, so it probably cooked for about 8 hours…or maybe it was over night. When canning season is in full throttle life is an absolute blur! Regardless, I know I cooked it down for hours! Remember to vent your crock’s lid so the steam escapes and the mixture reduces. I lay a wooden spoon across one of the ends and then put the lid on. Add sugar, vinegar and spices, stir well. Continue cooking for several more hours, just before ladling into hot jars give it a zip with an immersion blender so it achieves a creamy buttery texture. Process in a BWB for 10 minutes (or your recommended time for location altitude). Place jars on a wire rack and allow jars to cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
Now you know how to make it, here is how you eat it. Place two pieces of bread on a baking sheet (trust me, one is not enough!). Set your oven to broil and carefully toast each side. Slather on tomato butter and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Place back into the oven until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Oh My!