What are the Main Ingredients in Tomato Jam?
Tomato jam is a savory jam made with fresh tomatoes, sugar and spices. You can use any type of tomato available — red ripe, cherry tomatoes or even green ones. I used the last of the red tomatoes from our garden mixed with a couple of store-bought vine-ripened ones and the results were delicious.
My inspiration for this recipe came from www.theviewfromgreatisland.com. I did change it up because I was going for something spicier and a tad less sweet. Except for overcooking it to the point where it jelled almost solid (darn!) — I’m happy with the flavor and will definitely make it again. You can make your own additions (and subtractions) from my recipe and I bet you’ll still come away with a mouth-watering treat.
Don’t worry — I’ll give you important tips to be sure you don’t overcook your tomato jam like I did.
What to Eat with Tomato Jam
I noshed on Ritz crackers with goat cheese and tomato jam today — so good! You could also spread this on a sandwich (grilled cheese anyone?), burgers, hot dogs or make bruschetta with it. How about adding it to a BLT? There are no limits really!
Quick Overview of What You’ll Need
- Fresh tomatoes — as mentioned, red ripe, cherry or even green ones will work, though they will give you different flavors.
- Granulated sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Spices: This can vary depending on the flavor profile you prefer. I used red pepper flakes, ground ginger, cumin and a touch of baharat seasoning I had on hand. [Baharat is a Lebanese seasoning with a combination of up to seven spices. The best substitute is a mix of paprika, cumin and cinnamon or allspice. You don’t need Baharat to make this jam.]
- Equipment: A large saucepan, collander (optional), sharp knife and some jars for storage.
Tips and FAQs about Tomato Jam
Do I need to peel the tomatoes?
You can do that if you want, but I didn’t bother. The peels melt into the jam as it cooks.
Does tomato jam taste like ketchup?
Nope, not at all. It has a jam consistency and a completely different flavor profile. I think you’ll love it!
How can I tell when the jam is done cooking?
This is important — since I overcooked my first batch and I don’t want you to do that. When it’s fully cooked, the jam will be thick and glossy. When you drag your spoon across the bottom of the pan, the mixture will part like the Red Sea briefly, before running back together.
You can also test it by spooning a small amount on a plate and putting it in the freezer for two minutes. If the jam wrinkles when touched and feels firm, then it’s done. [I saw this tip too late to save my batch…but I’m passing it along for what it’s worth.]
How should I store tomato jam?
The jam will keep for about two weeks in the fridge or up to one year in the freezer. Remember, we’re not preserving this by canning. But you can certainly turn this into a canned recipe, if you’re familiar with that process. To do that, use sterilized jars and follow safe canning practices as outlined on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website — or another trusted source.
Are you ready to make Tomato Jam?
Savory Tomato JamCourse: Condiments, Snacks
Tomato jam is easy to make, incredibly delicious and a versatile complement to snacks and sandwiches.
36 ounces ripe tomatoes (weighed before chopping) or about 4 1/2 cups after chopping
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. baharat seasoning, optional (I added this because I didn’t have allspice).
- Chop the tomatoes into small dice. You can leave the skin on or peel them, if you prefer. Optional — I drained the diced tomatoes in a colander for 20 to 30 minutes before proceeding with step 2, so that they would boil down a little quicker.
- Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients to a large pot and bring it to a boil.
- Cook at a simmer for another 40 to 60 minutes, until the jam has thickened and is glossy. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t scorch or stick. This is not something to leave unattended — especially if you’re cooking on a gas range. To test for doneness, scrape a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot and when the jam parts briefly before running back together, it should be done. It will thicken more while chilling. Be sure to read the freezer tip above for how to test for doneness if you’re not sure.
- Pour the hot jam into clean jars and allow it to cool at room temperature. Store the finished jam in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to one year. Enjoy!
Now it’s your turn…
Did you make tomato jam following my recipe or with some changes? Or is it on your “must try” list? Let me know in comments. If you take a picture, be sure to tag @honest_and_simple on Instagram.
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