Let me introduce you to the Sungold Tomato. This is the first year I’ve grown this prolific plant and it will definitely have a place in the garden in the future.
Sungolds are an indeterminate tomato which means that it will keep growing bearing fruit throughout the season. They need to be staked or supported by some sort of trellis–they grow fast and up to ten feet tall!. They ripen early–they were the first to ripen in my garden this year–to a beautiful golden orange colour. Like all tomato plants they need to be in a sunny location with at least six hours of sunshine a day.
The Sungolds are perfect to eat fresh picked from the garden, in salads, and on veggie trays. I like to make a quick pasta sauce with them by cooking them down in a bit of olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper and lots of fresh basil–the flavour is sweeter than most other tomatoes.
We are overrun with a plethora of this garden jewel right now. I’ve been tossing them in with the larger Brandywines and Black Krims for soups and stewed tomatoes and I’ll be packaging up a bunch of them to toss in the freezer. No need to blanch these tiny ones–I’ll use them for sauces later and don’t mind the skins.
I came across a recipe for Sungold Tomato Jam recipe the other day and, faced with a plethora of Sungolds, decided to give it a try. I always thought that the words “tomato” and “jam” didn’t belong in the same sentence but I was wrong. This stuff is dee-licious! It will be good served on a cheese tray, as a condiment on sandwiches or burgers, and I might even try it as a glaze on chicken breasts.
Yield: The recipe says it makes about six 4 ounce jars but I didn’t have any of the smaller jars so put it all together in one pint jar. The yield is just an estimate as it depends on the tomatoes and how much juice then make.
- 2 pounds Sungold tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil
- Wash the tomatoes and cut each one in half.
- Combine the chopped tomatoes with the sugar in a large pot. Let sit for one hour to allow the tomatoes to release their juices.
- After an hour, add lemon juice to the tomato mixture and bring it to a boil.
- Cook at a boil for 30-35 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and the syrup has thickened. You might want to use the plate test to determine if your jam is ready.
- Remove from heat, add the chopped basil and half of the lemon zest. Taste, and add the rest of the lemon zest if desired.
Pour the jam into prepared jars, wipe jar rims to ensure they are clean, and apply lids and rings. Store the jars in the refrigerator to be used within a few weeks or process them for 10 minutes in a water bath canner so they can be stored for up to a year.
For my altitude here in Kamloops I need to increase the processing time by 5 minutes. You need to check the altitude for your location and adjust accordingly.