Sunday, 24 August 2014

Something New With Tomatoes

Read on to find out what I've down to these tomatoes
It's been a great year for tomatoes and we have all shapes and colours pouring out of the polytunnel. Sue usually cooks them up, removes the skins and then freezes them. We use them through the year in the same way as tinned tomatoes.
But when another basketful came into the kitchen, we had a problem. Freezers full, plenty enough tomatoes for the coming year.
So I decided to try something different. We recently purchased a steam juicer. It's basically just a steamer with a tube. The steam breaks down the cells in the fruit and pure juice trickles down the tube ready for collection.
And so I loaded up the tomatoes and turned on the gas. It wasn't too long before I'd collected half a pan of translucent tomato juice. I kept steaming until the tomatoes looked pretty sorry for themselves and I had a whole pan of juice.

With my mind on freezer space, I left Sue to watch the pan as we reduced it further and further until it fitted into an ice cube tray.

I wasn't sure what it would taste like, but a dip of the finger and a lick of the tongue was enough to know that we had created something with a vibrant zing to it. A bucketful of tangy tomatoiness in a tiny package. It packed a real punch and will really add a new dimension to our cooking.

As for those rather sorry looking tomatoes, they still had too much flesh inside to ignore.
I wasn't sure whether or not all the flavour would have been already extracted, but decided to push everything through a sieve and see what I got. Again, I reduced it down, though not so drastically. Again it was really tomatoey and will make a great sauce for pasta or to go on a pizza. Alternatively, I can just use a cube instead of tomato paste when I need.

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