A few weeks ago we published a post for semi-confit tomatoes, a recipe that is repeated below. Once those tomatoes are done, don’t wash the pan. You have gold there. Olive oil scented with tomatoes, thyme, bay, and garlic. You could, of course, add some onion, too.
Take that pan, put in a hunk of salmon — the ideal fish but by no means the only one you might use. Bake at high heat, say 400 degrees, for about 10 minutes. The time will depend on how well done you want the fish and, of course, the thickness. For dinner, you now have the fish and the tomatoes.
Only the white wine remains.
Yield: about 1 ½ pounds
- 4 cups light olive oil
- 2 ¼ pounds ripe cherry or medium tomatoes
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorns, coarsely crushed
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the whole, unpeeled tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and crushed pepper.Cook gently at about 160⁰F for 5 to 10 minutes. The riper and the smaller the tomatoes, the less time they will take to confit.Let them cool in the pan, then transfer them to a jar or bowl and pour over the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. The semi-confit tomatoes will keep well in their oil for at least 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just season them with salt and pepper before using.
Source: Pastry by Michel Roux
Did you ever have someone give you an absolutely perfect dish? And you were going to get that recipe from them? And then, most sadly, they passed away? You remember their face and their laughter. You remember their tomato conserve that was a miracle.
Suzen and I had the pleasure of knowing Jacques Burdick, a wonderful man who once gave us a small jar of his tomato conserve. He smiled when he passed it to us but he did not make a big deal about his gift or boast that this was a treasure. He went home, we tasted, we could not believe.
And we never got around to asking him for the recipe and now we cannot.
So, we’ve searched recipe books and googled and never found anything close. Until now.
The Cheesemonger’s Table is a gorgeous book filled with cheese-oriented recipes. Serious, upscale recipes. I’ll blog about the book itself tomorrow. But very, very importantly, the book has this recipe for Cherry Tomato Jam for cheese. It’s quite close to Jacques’ miracle.
This jam can be made in an hour with very little effort. Physically, it is stunningly beautiful. Taste wise, it’s really, really good. Remember, tomatoes are fruit and all fruit is destined to become jam [or pies, or tarts, or …]
Enjoy this jam with soft white cheese on toasted bread. Triple crème never tasted so good.
The recipe comes from an exceptionally well-trained chef, Chester Hastings, in Los Angles. When he makes this jam, he’s mostly using California cherry tomatoes. When I made this jam, I was using supermarket tomatoes in February in upstate New York. My jam was great, but it was a bit lemony. I would suggest that when you make it, do some taste tests along the way, before and during the addition of the lemon juice to reach the flavor balance you like.
The yield stated in the recipe is 1 ½ cups. I got just over 1 cup. I think it’s a matter of the juiciness of the tomatoes and how much mass is lost when you take the skins off.
If you don’t get enough, just make more. All that you are doing is letting tomatoes fulfill their culinary destiny. It’s kinda religious. It’s definitely delicious.
Cherry Tomato Jam
Yield: 1 ½ cups
- 2 cups [340 grams] cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¾ cup [150 grams] sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes to loosen the skins. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool slightly before carefully peeling away the skins.
Place the tomatoes and the sugar in sauce pan over medium heat and gently melt the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, boiling rapidly for 5 to 7 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and rosemary.
Transfer to a clean, sterilized jar and seal well. The jam can be kept refrigerated for 2 weeks, though I doubt it will last that long.
Source: Cheesemonger’s Kitchen by Chester Hastings