Spicy Tomato Preserves

Spicy Tomato Preserves
Yield: about 6 half-pints
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1 1/2 quarts small yellow, green or red tomatoes (about 2 pound)
1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices
1 (1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
4 cups sugar
1 cup thinly sliced and seeded lemon (about 2 lemons)
3/4 cup water

Wash and peel tomatoes; drain. Tie spices and fresh ginger in a spice bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon and water in a large sauce pot. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook gently until tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place. Remove spice bag. Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup. Boil syrup 3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

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