The Marito was fairly zealous with his tomato planting this year, and we had tomatoes everywhere. Some months before I had filed away this recipe from Rosa’s Farm, it intrigued me, and finding myself with more summer tomatoes that I knew what to do with, it seemed the perfect time to try it. The scent of chopping up the peeled tomatoes threw me straight back to childhood – sitting in a garage with nonna, Mamma Rosa, zia, cousins and siblings, cutting tomatoes bobbing in enormous containers of water, ready to be pureed for passata before being bottled with some basil, the bottle carefully wrapped in newspaper and boiled in a large vat.
The recipe didn’t specify whether or not to remove the tomato seeds, so I did. I also reduced the quantity of sultanas as it is not an ingredient I’m enamoured with. I’d throw in some walnuts next time, they would work really well. I almost dropped the darn thing flipping it so you’ll notice it’s a bit cracked at the top.
450g firm but ripe tomatoes
115g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
165g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
- Use a sharp knife to score a cross in the bottom of each tomato, place the tomatoes in a bowl and pour over some boiling water, enough to cover them, and leave for 1 minute. Drain and then peel off the skin, remove the seeds and finely chop the remaining flesh. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170 degrees C fan forced and grease a 20cm tin, lining the base with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Gently fold in the flour, mixed spice and sultanas. Strain the tomatoes gently then fold in to the batter. Spoon into a prepared tin and cook for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.