When you tomato preserves, think tomatoes with sweet. It isn’t quite like anything you have ever tasted before. I first tried tomato preserves when I read about the recipe in The Long Winter story, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder from her Little House in The Big Woods series.
The sun was high now, all the frost was gone, and the wind was blowing cool over the brownish and purple and fawn-colored prairie. Ma and Laura picked the tomatoes…There were enough ripe tomatoes to make almost a gallon of preserves.
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote many stories about her life in the pioneer days and talked about her days living life on the frontier.
Given the fact that my Great-grandmother rode to Texas in a covered wagon, I find these stories fascinating. My Mamaw used to tell me stories while we would sit in her tiny kitchen as she made us buttermilk biscuits from scratch. She used cast iron cookware and ironed with a cast iron—no cord, mind you. I always felt like I had traveled back in time when we went to visit with her.
I had no idea how many questions I later wished I had asked her! But the Big Woods stories bring some of it back for me.
So, in light of Little House in the Big Woods, I made tomato preserves with a modern twist. See if you like the recipe.
Tomato Preserves Recipe
What you need
2.5 pounds of fresh organic tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of lemon extract (you simply cannot skip this!)
1 tsp of sea salt
How to make it.
First cut the tomatoes into large chunks, and process them in a food processor.
Pour the tomatoes into a 2 quart saucepan. Add the sugar and turn on the heat to medium.
Cook and stir this for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Cook the tomatoes until they become like jam.
Then, stir in the salt and lemon extract, and allow it to cool. Scoop into 1/2 pint or pint jars, then seal with a lid. You can can them at this point, or place them in the refrigerator. Makes 2 pints of tomato preserves.
You can use tomato preserves on toast in the morning, or even add it to recipes to sweeten and flavor anything from stir-fry vegetables to fried eggs.