How To Make Sweet-and-Savory Tomato Jam

How To Make Sweet-and-Savory Tomato Jam

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Meghan Splawn
Aug 18, 2017
(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Jam excels at preserving the tastes and smells of the season, but why should berries have all the fun? Adding tomato jam to your summer preserving bounty is just the thing to make you feel like a savvy cook and leave you with a taste of summer into fall.

Using the same principals of other small-batch jams, plum tomatoes are cooked with a little sugar and spice for a sweet and savory jam that will leave you wondering why you didn't start making it sooner.

What Does Tomato Jam Taste Like?

Tomato jam isn't as sweet as traditional jam, as tomatoes are naturally high in pectin and require less sugar for thickening. Most tomato jam recipes lean savory, with warm spices like ginger and pepper added to make the jam more robust. The result is sweet and savory, with a thick jam-like texture with big pieces of the tomato throughout. That's exactly what you'll find here.

For Your Information

  • This recipe is best for plum or Roma tomatoes. Save the heirlooms for tomato toast.
  • Tomato jam is a fridge jam, meaning it must be stored in the refrigerator after cooling; it will last about two weeks in there.
  • You'll need two (eight-ounce) jars for storage (or gifting!).
(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Slow-and-Low Tomato Jam

Tomato jam is easy. Once you've got the tomatoes chopped, everything goes into a heavy-bottomed pot and boils until thickened. Time is the most important ingredient, as the jam does require nearly two hours of slow-and-low cooking to turn from a sweet tomato sauce to jam. Make sure to stir the jam occasionally. Using a heavy-bottomed pot like a Dutch-oven will keep the jam from burning.

You'll know the jam is finished cooking when you can run your mixing spoon through the pot and the jam doesn't run back to the middle of the pot.

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

How to Use Tomato Jam

Use tomato jam anywhere you might use jam or chutney — as a topping for toast or biscuits, or as a blanket for soft cheeses. I recently added a few tablespoons to a marinade for flank steak destined for the grill and then as a sauce for serving it. The resulting dinner was so effortlessly divine that I added tomatoes to my grocery list so I could make another batch immediately before summer ends.

How To Make Tomato Jam

Makes
1 3/4 cups

What You Need

Ingredients
2 pounds plum or Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh peeled ginger (from 1-inch knob)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Equipment
3- to 4-quart Dutch oven
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula or wooden spoon
2 (8-ounce) canning jars with lids

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a Dutch oven. Place the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, ginger, salt, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flake in a 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. Simmer the jam until thickened, about 2 hours. Reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, about 2 hours. You'll know it's done when you scrape a spoon across the bottom of the pot and no liquid fills in the path.
  3. Refrigerate the tomato jam. Divide the jam between 2 (8-ounce) canning jars. Cool, then seal and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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