Today I went to make a small batch of tomato sauce with the last of the tomatoes from the garden. Tomatoes haven’t done well here this year, so I had only 1.5kg when it actually came to weighing them up. I topped up the weight with a couple of apples I found in the fruit bowl but still needed more to make up the 2kg required. We had just picked quinces from our trees, which thankfully produced abundantly this year. I added a couple of those, figuring it would add a new dimension of flavour – if it didn’t work I could use it up in cooking.
I am so pleased with the result – the quince makes the sauce even tastier, in a good way. Here is the recipe – you can vary the proportions of the tomatoes to apples to quince. Just use what you have at hand.
Speaking of which, if you have “A Year in a Bottle”, try varying some of the fresh fruits in the recipes – for instance, try making apricot chutney using mangoes, zucchini pickle using pineapple (and a couple of long red chillies for a boost), and so on. The recipes have that flexibility built into them. Let your imagination go wild and make the most of what you have in the garden, what is in season and/or available at farmers’ markets and farm gate stalls.
Tomato Sauce with Apple and Quince
1.5kg tomatoes, chopped
250g apples, peeled and chopped
250g quinces, peeled, cored and chopped
500g onions, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons salt
3 teaspoons mustard powder
3 teaspoons curry powder
3 cups white or cider vinegar
Place the tomatoes, apples, quince, onions, salt, mustard powder, curry powder, sugar and the 3 cups of vinegar into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and continue to simmer for one and a half hours, stirring occasionally. Puree with a stick blender or in a food processor or push through a food mill or sieve.
Return to heat and cook until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Makes approximately 2.5 litres