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Tomato Jam

September 16, 2010

This jam is so delicious that I couldn’t wait to post this and I’m doing it while I make my SECOND batch.  In the past, I’ve made tomato butter (yuck) and tomato jelly (okay) but this jam is amazing.  I can see myself putting in on everything!! 

I found this tomato jam recipe on Food in Jars while surfing canning blogs.  It sounded good and different from my previous sweet tomato experiments. I abandoned my plans of making zucchini marmalade (for today) and got straight to work cutting up tomatoes.  I love the fact that you don’t have to remove the seeds or the skin…that makes it much easier and Marisa is right…it adds to the texture and taste.  I’m thinking of putting it on eggs, toast,  sausages, hamburgers or just eating it straight from the jar.  Now, I’m thinking I better make another batch or two!

RECIPE FOR TOMATO JAM (thank-you Food in Jars): 

  • 5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flakes


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan (non-reactive pot). Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer the jam uncovered until it reduces by about half.  This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat. 
  2. When the jam has reached the gel stage remove from heat.
  3. Ladle hot jam into sterilized 250mL jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jam.  Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water, bring to a boil and process  in hot water bath for 20 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, label and store.

 Put up Total:

  • 2 x 500mL Fancy mason jars (1 vintage Kerr jar)
  • 3 x 250mL wide mouth mason jars
  • 5 x 250mL regular mouth mason jars
26 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2010 1:28 pm

    Tomato Jam? Now that I would have never thought about.

    Awesome idea and thanks 🙂

    • September 17, 2010 1:59 pm

      It is so good. I am actually boiling down a double batch right now. It has a sweetness to it as well as a kick at the end from the chili pepper flakes. MmmmMMMgood! The texture is nice too.

  2. casey dellicarpini permalink
    January 8, 2011 3:41 pm

    I too, am a fan of the tomato jam. I found your website via Food in Jars and am just thrilled! I’m trying the Spiced Beer Jelly later, and right now am looking over your other recipes to see what will be next. Thanks!!!

  3. February 11, 2011 10:56 pm

    I made this jam this past summer and fell head over heels for it. And so did every single person I gae a jar too! I will make this every year for the next ever and ever.

  4. Jas permalink
    June 20, 2011 1:35 pm

    Oh dear god, I’m in love. I made a batch of this last night, and I’m blown away. I was canning late into the night and the first thing I did this morning was put some inside my omelet. I think I might even have dreamt about it.

    A canning question for you though. It was late last night and being the newbie canner I am, I don’t quite have the process down yet, so I totally forgot to eliminate air bubbles. With as thick and chunky as this jam is, I have large bubbles in every jar. Is this something I should worry about? I have a perfect seal on each jar. Is it ok to leave it hte way it is, or should I pop them open, boil the jam and process it again? I’m planning on giving a jar or two of this stuff away at christmas (if it lasts that long!) and poisoning my friends would not be a good thing.

    • June 20, 2011 2:22 pm

      Been there…done that! No…I wouldn’t worry as long as the seal is good. Reprocessing is unnecessary and may change the consistency. We were the same with our first batch of jam (totally forgot about the air bubbles). It’s recommended to move them because these pockets of air can create mold and spoil the contents but our jam (with bubbles) was fine and we enjoyed every jar even after a year. We still will get air bubbles in some of our preserves despite our efforts to remove them (some fruits contain more air in their cells). I doubt this tomato deliciousness will last until Christmas time but you will know with each jar whether or not it is okay. Discard, if the seals are broken or there is mold on top (those are really the only things you have to worry about with this one).

      • Jas permalink
        June 21, 2011 11:04 pm

        Thanks. That’s 2 out of 2 responses that say just leave it. So I will. I put the worst offender in the fridge and plan on opening that next. And you’re right, I doubt it will last that long. I’m really hoping to see tomatoes down to 39 cents/lb again soon so I can do a couple more batches atleast. And I really want to try a version seasoned with chinese 5 spice for an asian flair, or my mom’s secret recipe tandoori spice rub for an indian twist. And I need to get my blog back up and running so I can share this jammy goodness with the world!

  5. N Hokke permalink
    August 21, 2011 8:31 pm

    I grew my own tomatoes this year JUST to try this recipe! However, I don’t have a canner – will it work by just doing the hot water bath? Thank you for your time in posting. I LOVE your blog!
    -N Hokke

    • August 21, 2011 9:25 pm

      Home grown tomatoes…WOW!! You’re tomato jam is going to rock!
      Sorry, for any confusion by using the word “canner” I meant hot water bath canning…not pressure canner. I’ve changed the wording on the recipe…thanks:>)
      We’d love to hear how your tomato jam turns out…I know it’s going to be amazing. It truly is one of our favorites. We did 6 batches last year and are down to the last jar. I’m hoping to make at least 6 more batches for this year.

  6. Jas permalink
    September 18, 2011 12:36 pm

    Just thought I’d wander back and comment again since I was sharing this recipe with a friend today. I made my first batch of this in June – my second ever attempt at canning. Since then I’ve made a second batch and right now have 25 lbs of roma’s in my kitchen at the moment, waiting for me to get moving today. I imagine there will be a third batch cooling on the kitchen counter before the day is over. (along with hopefully 8 more jars of crushed tomatoes) I just want to say thanks so much for providing me with that ‘gateway drug’ so to speak that got me hooked on canning. My pantry is slowly filling up and todays efforts will bring my totals to about 40 jars of food lining my shelves. Not too shabby for a newbie, if I say so myself! And with some of the money I’ll save this year on buying spaghetti sauce (a staple for me) I can justify the cost of a pressure canner before next summer. Then I’ll really go to town!

    • September 18, 2011 2:18 pm

      That is so awesome! Canning sure is addictive…or at least that is what we’ve found. There is so much satisfaction in preserving your own food and the taste is impossible to beat. Later this year we are going to do a post on fellow canners pantries…maybe you’d like to share a photo or some words of encouragement for other canners?
      Keep up the great work! We’re off to stem 10lbs of elderberries and husk about 60lbs of tomitillos.

  7. Leslie Criswell permalink
    July 7, 2012 5:50 pm

    Woooooooooooo Whoooooo!!!! This is my all time favorite food! Try this out: Eggs benedict layered as follows. Whole wheat English Muffin, warmed slice of ham, 2 tbsp Tomato Jam, poached egg and basil holandaise sauce…OMG…

  8. judy keith permalink
    July 18, 2012 9:11 pm

    cant wait to try this tomorrow, I have done everything I can think of to do with tomatoes and they are still coming on. any great recipes for banana peppers?

  9. Margaret permalink
    August 8, 2012 9:42 pm

    A friend just recommended this awesome recipe, and I’m wondering whether it would be okay to freeze it rather than can it? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • August 9, 2012 8:14 am

      We’ve have not tried to freeze it I’m sure it can be done. If you try it, let us know how it turns out so we can provide it as an option to other readers.

      • Margaret permalink
        August 9, 2012 8:42 pm

        Thanks very much! Not sure how soon I’ll have time to try it, but it sounds fantastic and if I’m able to make and freeze a batch at some point I definitely will come back and let you know how the frozen jam turns out. Thanks again!

  10. Lynn permalink
    August 11, 2012 5:09 pm

    I’m cooking this as I type, and almost done. Is the consistency supposed to be more jelly like at the end? Mine doesn’t seem to be getting really thick yet. Cook time so far is 1 hr 15 min.

    • August 17, 2012 7:37 am

      It takes about 1h30 to cook down but that all depends on your heat. I keep mine pretty much at a bubbling boil the whole time. It is the consistency of a chunky strawberry jam.

  11. Paula permalink
    August 16, 2012 7:29 pm

    This recipe is sooooo good! Everyone who has tasted it has said WOW! Thank you. What a great gift for friends/family at Christmas.

    • August 17, 2012 7:38 am

      Yes, one of my absolute favorites…can’t live without it!
      We use it on everything from sandwiches to a pork roast and all foods in between.

  12. August 20, 2012 5:29 pm

    Finally! A blog that gets the same yield as I do for this recipe. Everywhere else seems to say they get 4-5 pints out of 5 lbs of tomatoes, while I tend to get 4 – 5 half pints. I’ve made 5 batches now, and my yield is pretty consistent, so I I was wondering what in the world was going on!

    I love this recipe so much that this year it takes priority over crushed tomatoes even. Those I can resort to store bought if I have to, the jammy goodness of this recipe can’t be found in stores. I’m on my third batch right now, to round it out to an even dozen jars, which will give me a jar a month for the next year. It was a sad day when I ran out of my last jar a few months ago, and I can’t risk that happening again next year!

  13. Adina permalink
    September 12, 2012 1:21 pm

    I’m in the process of making this now and I’m using super red and sweet grape tomatoes! I literally have hundreds if not thousands in my garden! I’m hoping this turns out ok. I’m dicing the tomatoes and leaving skin on. My fingers are crossed!

    • October 8, 2012 1:27 pm

      How did it turn out? I am sure it’s awesome!! This is another sample in our home and I am sure the sweet grape tomatoes would make it extra delicious.

  14. Kim permalink
    September 6, 2014 3:18 am

    Just making this now. It tastes awesome. I used tomatoes from my garden. I’m confused about the out up total because I didn’t even get close to what you listed. Yours made all that? I got 1-500ml, 2-250ml and 1-375ml? Not sure on that size. A short wide mouth.

    • January 1, 2015 11:36 am

      This jam yields a very small amount. I think your number of jars would be correct for a single batch. We often do very large batches or multiple batches of this each season as we go through about a jar a week all year long.


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