I need to make a small confession. I’ve spoken much in recent posts about our fabulous tomato crop, which might lead you to believe that I’m quite the gardener. In truth, I have a profound fear of pretty much anything bigger than an ant and smaller than a cat. Not only does this include any rodents and rodent-like critters (e.g. hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, etc), but all manner of insects and garden creatures. Creepy crawly things, such as spiders, cicadas, worms, caterpillars, earwigs, and so on, while seemingly harmless to most of you I’m sure, fill me with abject terror. I also have quite a phobia about the feeling of dirt on my skin - yes, I know you can wear gloves in the garden, but I seem to have smallish hands and gardening gloves (even the small size ones) always seem so large, so that my hands seem to flop around in them like the proverbial in a bowler hat!
So, the long and the short of it is that my gardening prowess extends to supervising (something for which I’m convinced I have an absolute gift), staking up the tomato plants (it’s creepy and scary, but I can just manage that bit), and harvesting, which is of course the great joy of any vegetable garden.
As part of my harvesting duty, I’ve been gathering bowl after bowl full of these babies ...
Little yellow, tear-drop shaped, cherry tomatoes. I like to eat these straight off the vine while I’m harvesting other things - it’s kind of like eating candy and feels like a bit of a treat for being brave enough to go into the garden. I love them also tossed into salads and pasta dishes, and I’ve discovered that they make great jam.
I came across a recipe for Yellow Tomato Conserve in A Passion for Preserves by Frederica Langeland, which seemed like a great way to use up some of the surplus. I adapted the recipe only slightly, adding some crystallised ginger in at the end, and the results were so good I couldn’t wait to make a second batch, which I made without the ginger (since not everyone is a ginger lover). Both variations are exceptionally good. The colour is gorgeous and I’m loving it on crumpets in the morning for breakfast, although I think there are enough savoury notes in the flavour that it could be paired with other foods in the same way you might a sweet chutney. I’m thinking that this could be quite a nice accompaniment to Indian food. Either way, I hope you’ll give this a try.
Yellow Tomato & Ginger Conserve Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Frederica Langeland from
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1kg (2lb) yellow tear-drop cherry tomatoes
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
knob or two of butter
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, very finely chopped (optional)
Trim the stem ends from the tomatoes and cut them in half.
Cut the lemon into quarters. Flick out any seeds, and then cut the quarters into very thin slices.
Put water and sugar into a large pan, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved and you have a syrup.
Add the tomatoes and lemon slices to the pan, and cook until thick about 40-45 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, stir in a knob or two of butter to disperse any scum.
Remove from heat and stir in the crystallised ginger if using.
Fill hot, sterilised jars to within .5cm (1/4 inch) of the top. Using a damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars clean, and put on the lids and screw on firmly. Turn jars upside down for a couple of minutes, then turn upright again and leave to cool completely.