Spiced Tomato Basil Preserves

Spiced Tomato Basil Preserves

Today is Veterans Day and I am extremely grateful for the service of those being celebrated today! Thank you to all who have served, and to their family and friends for the love and support given and sacrifices they have made.

This recipe reminds me of both of my grandmothers, both of them mothers of Veterans and I post it today in honor of all of the Veterans in my family.

Spiced Tomato Basil Preserves

2 and 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, reserve the juice

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 box 1.75 ounces of powdered fruit pectin

4 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar

5 half pint (8 ounce) jars with lids (clean & sanitize in dishwasher)

Place tomatoes, reserved juice and basil in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of your spoon.  Remove from heat, remove basil leaves and measure out 3 cups of the tomato mixture.

Place in a large saucepan (one big enough so that the mixture only fills the bottom third of the pan) and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and spices. Use a long handled spoon for this. Stir in the pectin, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil while stirring.

Add the sugar all at once, continuing to stir at a hard boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam off the top of the preserves with a large spoon.

Carefully spoon the preserves into 5 half pint jars, leaving ¼ inch space from the top.  Wipe rims of the jars off with a clean damp paper towel and seal with lids, turning until just barely fingertip tight.  Let cool completely.

Store preserves in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve (up to 1 week in refrigerator, 1 month in the freezer), or process jarred preserves using the hot water bath canning method.

For a different flavor profile, consider substituting 1 and 1/2 teaspoons five spice powder, or the Indian spice mix garam masala for the cinnamon and cloves.