Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Oven Dried Tomatoes
These tomatoes are specifically bred for sun dried tomatoes. The strain, Principe Borghese
(Lycopersicon lycopersicum), originally comes from Italy. I purchased these through www.botanicalinterests.com, I highly recommend their products. The Mason jar contains gin and grapefruit juice, an absolute necessity for this process.
After much experimenting I discovered the fastest most efficient method to process the tomatoes is to cut just to the side of the stem leaving one half with the whole stem area. Now you cut the stem out of one side instead of two if you had split it evenly.
I put them on large cookie sheets, salted them with sea salt and placed them in the oven pre-heated to 175 degrees. The amount of time it takes to dry them depends on the size of the tomatoes, moisture content and temperature.
Here they are dried out after about 18 hours. At this point they were perfect. They felt like a firm raisin with a little bend to it. So of course I turn the oven off and go do something else with them still in. They dried out completely becoming brittle. They still taste good but you have to watch them towards the end to get them at the perfect time.
I placed them in Mason jars and filled them up with olive oil. These should keep on the counter for a while. Some people refrigerate them at this point. I am not suggesting either method yet, I plan on doing both. I will be doing more soon and I think I will try freezing and dry storage in mason jars. We shall see which method is the best.
If you spoon some of these out into a hot skillet with butter, add some chopped onions and garlic and toss with spaghetti squash you will be in classico heaven.