I thought I’d already finished for this year but the weather suddenly turned cold and wet almost overnight – summer was gone and there was no way all the green tomatoes in the garden were going to ripen. I brought them indoors to warm them up a bit but some of the larger ones were stubbornly resisting turning red so, after retrieving my spare jam jars from the back of the cupboard, I set to once again and started chopping. It’s been a really good year for our onions and apples, happily, so I was able to make good use of those, too.
I always feel so chuffed when I’m able to use our own produce – I'm pathetically easily pleased. I spiced this one up a bit more than usual – green tomatoes don’t have a lot of flavour so they need all the help they can get, poor things.
**I may have lied when I said the preserving pan has been put away… Our apple tree is weighed down with fruit and I don’t intend to waste any of it. Watch this space.
850g green tomatoes
250g onions (after peeling)
250g apples, peeled and cored
125g dates (use raisins if you like)
4 cloves garlic
30g fresh ginger root
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp chilli flakes
300g light muscovado sugar
350ml white wine vinegar
Halve the tomatoes, cut out the core and discard, then roughly chop; chop the apples, onions and dates a bit more finely than the tomatoes then put the whole lot into a large wide pan.
Blitz the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and salt with a couple of tablespoons of the measured vinegar in the blender then add to the pan along with the cayenne, chilli flakes, sugar and the rest of the vinegar. Stir well, bring to the boil then turn the heat down a bit and let it bubble for about an hour or so until nice and thick.
Draw a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and if the channel doesn’t fill up with liquid it’s ready to pot up into hot sterilised jars.
Allow to mature for 4 – 6 weeks before eating.
Makes 7 190g jars.