I’ve been harvesting a lot of tomatoes from the garden lately. I know, I haven’t done my annual garden post. I haven’t had the time (yet). But just know that everything is growing like crazy. I’ve picked about 12 tomatoes and so far other than the small Yellow Taxi tomatoes, each one has been around one pound- some have been almost 2 pounds. EACH. Big Beef, Brandywine and Better Boy have been doing just fine & providing us with a lot of ‘maters. And the peppers, too. I’ve got loads of Ancho Poblano’s if anyone wants. Just kidding. They’re mine.
So I decided, when I got my second shipment of the 2016 Canbassador program, to make something different.
This is the fourth year I’ve been a Canbassador, and it makes me love every summer even more because I eagerly wait for these beautiful shipments of stone fruits direct from Washington State. Let me tell you- the fruit from Rainier Fruit and Washington State just gets more beautiful every season. Over the years, with this gorgeous fruit, I’ve made vanilla brandied peach jam, nectarine basil preserves, peach & pepper salsa, vanilla bean sliced peaches in syrup, a beautiful (and easy!) peach, bourbon & black walnut crostata, mint julep peaches, which were such a hit around here I’ve already had pre-requests for them if I get a batch of fresh peaches. I also made grilled peaches with ricotta cream & honey, which were also amazing and a great use for those peaches not suitable for canning (too many soft spots, overripe, not ripe enough, etc). Last year there was a triple stone fruit crisp, spiced nectarine jam, nectarine & blackberry jam with purple ruffles basil, canned cherries in a light syrup, cherry preserves with jasmine green tea, mini-cherry pies made with Pimm’s No. 1 Cup and a cherry sauce I served with vanilla panna cotta. This year alone I made sour cherry jam and canned whole cherries in coconut syrup on top of a delicious almond ricotta cannoli cake topped with fresh cherries (and strawberries).
So, anyway, the garden. And those big, beautiful tomatoes. I was originally going to just make a tomato jam and a peach jam separately this summer. But why do that when I could combine them both and make one amazingly interesting jam? Add to it the fact that our pepper plants are cranking out some crazy amounts of Red Rocket chilies… and that’s where I got this inspiration from. Thanks to Love and Olive Oil and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for the technical & recipe help.