Have you ever had tomato aspic? This weekend I’ll share a tomato aspic/chicken salad that I’m going to make.
The first few times I ever had it was when it was served as an appetizer – a ring that had been chilled, dumped and served with crackers. I didn’t like it much but many years later, there was a deli near us that served tomato aspic as a condiment used on sandwiches. I loved using it in place of mayonnaise but had never tried to make it. Last week, I saw a recipe in my Mother Earth News email and knew I had to try it.
With a few changes to make it more to our liking, here’s the recipe I came up with:
Spicy Tomato Aspic for Canning:
8 pounds very ripe tomatoes (I used whatever was in the garden – some Roma, some Heirloom, some just slicing tomatoes)
4 jalapeno peppers, halved, with seeds left in because we like it hot
4 teaspoons canning salt
1 Tablespoon pickling spice
2 cups cilantro stems
2 cups basil leaves
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
8 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin
8 tablespoons white vinegar
8 teaspoons calcium water
1. Wash and chop tomatoes. There’s no need to core or peel them.
2. To a large non-reactive pot, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, salt, pickling spice. Gently mash the tomatoes to help release the juice. Mother Earth News recommends a potato masher. You do not want to grind them . . just mash them. Heat to a boil and then simmer on low for 15 – 20 minutes.
3. Add cilantro and basil and continue simmering for another 5 minutes.
4. Let cool for a few minutes, then strain through cheese cloth. Allow to sit and drain in the fridge for at least 8 hours. I put a a cheese cloth lined colander over a large bowl and left that in the fridge with a large plate covering the tomato mixture.
5. Combine the sugar and pectin and set aside.
6. Combine the vinegar and calcium water and set aside.
7. Measure out 8 cups of the tomato liquid and pour into a non-reactive pot. Add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
8. Stir in the sugar/pectin mix. Return to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
9. Add the calcium water/vinegar mixture. Stir and remove from heat.
10. Skim off any foam that has formed on top.
11. Ladle into hot jars. Following proper canning methods, process in water bath for 10 minutes.
The aspic does not firm up sufficiently until refrigerated so I keep on jar in the fridge and the remaining jars in the pantry til needed.