JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tomatoes preserved in brine

Miele have lent me a steam oven to play with: until a few weeks ago, I didn't know such a thing existed; now I'm trying to work out whether I want one in the imminent re-design of a corner of my kitchen.

I didn't find it very easy to use when I tried to make part of dinner with it, but it did cook the asparagus to perfection - cooked through without going soggy. It was partly my in-built dislike of reading the instructions, and partly that the oven requires a precision which does not come naturally.

But now I've begun experimenting with bottling - what Americans call canning (and what we perhaps ought to call jarring). Here the steam oven comes into its own, making the process the work of moments. First you sterilise the bottles (15 mins at 100C), then you fill them and put them back in the oven. Ping! and it's done.

I'm going to dry-pack the next batch, just as soon as I can get my hands on some decent tomatoes: peel and pack, sprinkling with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar per 500ml of tomatoes.

Brined tomatoes

The brine I used was made with 15g salt to 1.1 litres of water.

Put the tomatoes into wet sterilised jars; I used 500g Le Parfait, which hold about 350g of fruit. Pour on the brine and seal the jars. I cooked these at 85C for 55 mins. A perfect guess. (According to the Reader's Digest Food from your Garden, they'd have needed 60-70 minutes using the oven method.)

Related posts

Things to do with tomatoes

Roasting tomatoes
Roasted tomato ketchup
Slow roasted tomatoes
Homemade tomato ketchup - and caponata-ish
Chilli jam

Tasty tomatoes to grow

Links to tomatoes on other blogs

Fried green tomatoes - haven't you always wanted to know how to make these? Here's how, from the blog at the Whistlestop Cafe
David Lebovitz's take on an heirloom tomato salad
Gazpacho from Kalyn's Kitchen

Play date at the Miele Experience Centre
How DO you say Miele?


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sure make it sound like it makes bottling, canning a breeze.

Ed Bruske said...

Tomatoes usually are just acid enough to can (bottle) without an elaborate pressure cooking process. But we normally add a little more, I think it was 1 tablespoon lemon juice per quart. Preserving in a brine is an intriguing alternative.