We might put tomatoes in sauces, salsas, salads, gazpachos, etc., but the truth is, tomatoes are a fruit. Tomatoes must have an identity crisis. If tomatoes could think, I bet they would be asking to themselves “why can I be a fruit like all the other fruits?” Well, a very long time ago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the tomato was a vegetable and no longer a fruit. And from that day on, we all started treating this fruit as a vegetable and now we cannot think of it as a fruit. But, today I’m going to try to change that a little bit. Let’s just forget the 1883 Tariff Act and the Supreme Court ruling so we can let the tomato be a fruit once in a while. And that is exactly what I’m trying to do with this recipe. Why should you try this? Because this confiture is like the fruity candy you’ve been waiting to eat your whole life but didn’t know it. There are no vinegars or oils to dress up this recipe, just sugar and vanilla bean. That’s it. Enjoy! Recipe from Taste Magazine, 2000 Makes about 4 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and bottoms scored with an X
- 5 cups sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split
Blanch tomatoes in batches until skins loosen, about 15 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Slip off skins and cut each tomato in half crosswise. Gently squeeze out seeds, then cut tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside. In a nonreactive, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine 1 cup water and the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring carefully, until sugar dissolves. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Add vanilla bean and continue simmering until thickened and beginning to jell, 25 – 30 minutes. A candy thermometer should register 220 – 222 degrees F. Alternatively, spoon a little jam on a chilled plate and let stand for a few minutes. Slide a finger through, if the surface wrinkles, the jam is jelled. Skim any foam from top, discard vanilla bean, and pour into sterile jars with tight-fitting lids. It can be sealed up like any jam and kept for several months.
I also like it with white mexican cheese or any white cheese.