Canning: Tomato Jam

‘Tis the end of the tomato season, and as we’ve already canned salsa and marinara, it’s time to think about what to do with those last tomatoes . . . and think about how a nice savory tomato jam would taste on a hot buttered english muffin while the wind blows the leaves from the trees and the frost nips the grass tips . . .

There are lots of different recipes for tomato jam, from sweet to savory, and infused with unique spice combos.  The one I like the best is less sweet, and spicy with a light ginger/pepper kick.

1. Chop 5-6 pounds of tomatoes and finely dice 2 cups of apples (remove cores, stems and peel) and put in a large pot.

2. Add:

2/3 cup vinegar (or lime juice)

1 1/2 cups sugar (if you really like it sweeter, go ahead and add another 1/2 cup, but not a bit more!)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tablespoons salt

1-2 teaspoons (2  tsp if you like it spicy!!!)  ground red pepper or red pepper flakes


3. Simmer, simmer, simmer . . .

4. Cook down, simmering, until a third to half the volume has simmered away or until mixture thickens to jamlike consistency.  This may take 1 – 2 hours.  Continue to stir, and lower heat to prevent scorching.

5. Process in half pints for 20 minutes at sea level, 25 minutes at 5000 feet.

This batch makes 7-8 half pints. Originally I made this in a double size batch, but I recommend against it.  It just takes too long to simmer down. If you’re getting impatient and your jam still is not thick enough, you could add commercial pectin . . . just a thought . . .  Use this like ketchup on burgers, or as a chutney over brown rice or with grilled meats, or spread like jam on hot toast, bagels, etc.

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3 comments to Canning: Tomato Jam

  • […] cream cheese on crackers.  Top with our own Jalapeno Jam or Tomato Jam.  But don’t worry if you’ve used up all your stock . . . both of these can be made far […]

  • Connie

    Hi, just wondering, do you process in a water bath or use a canner? I have both but am just wondering. Thank you

  • elizabeth

    Hi Connie,

    I don’t use a pressure canner for this. I think that’s what you mean by
    “canner”. I use a water bath canner: the difference is, the water is heated to boiling, the water level should be 1 inch over the top of the jars, and a lid should be put on so that heat stays in, but the lid should not be fixed, and steam should be allowed to escape (i.e. not a pressure system). Does that help? The reason you can use a water bath canner is because of the acid in the tomatoes and the sugar — both are enough to keep the contents safe without a pressure canner.

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