Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam

yellow tomato basil jam

Last summer, Scott and I spent a weekend in New York. While wandering the Union Square Greenmarket, I picked up a half pint jar of yellow tomato jam. Soon after we got home, I cracked it open and proceeded to make quick work of it. It was good with cheese and even better as a glaze for roasted chicken thighs.

Since then, I’ve been pondering yellow tomato jam. I really wanted to make it from Sungold tomatoes since they are so sweet, but they can be prohibitively expensive if you haven’t grown your own and you’re buying them in the city (I’ve seen them for as much as $5 a pint at farmers’ markets).

Then, when at Root’s Market in Lancaster County last Tuesday, I hit the jackpot. Rows of of glowing, Amish-grown Sungolds for $1 a piece. I bought six.

Cut in half, combined with sugar and lemon juice, and cooked until thick and sticky, this jam is gorgeously vivid in both looks and taste. To make things slightly more interesting, I stirred in a quarter cup of chopped basil at the very end of cooking. Tomatoes and basil do make such good partners.

If you can’t get Sungolds, you could swap in a different tomato. But I do think they give it a depth of sweetness and flavor that is pretty fabulous.

Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam

Yield: Makes 3.5 pints or 7 half pints

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Sungold or other yellow tomatoes
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • zest of two lemons, divided
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped basil

Instructions

  1. Cut Sungold tomatoes in half, or, if using larger yellow tomatoes, chop them into smallish pieces.
  2. Combine chopped tomatoes with sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and stir. Let sit for at least one hour, or until the tomatoes release their juice.
  3. When ready to cook, prep canning pot and jars and place jam pot over high heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
  4. Cook at a boil for 30-35, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and the syrup has gotten thick. Check set with plate test. Once you’re satisfied with the set, remove the pot from the heat and stir in half the lemon zest and chopped basil. Taste and add remaining lemon zest only if you feel the jam requires it.
  5. Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  6. When time is up, remove jars from pot and let them cool on a kitchen towel. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator and use promptly. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
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115 Responses to Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam

  1. 51
    Mary Beth says:

    Is it possible to skip the lemon zest altogether? I’m not a big fan of it in general (and I don’t have any lemons at home right now!) I’ve got loads of yellow pear tomatoes (I get numerous volunteers in my garden every year) and sungolds that I can’t wait to use in this recipe!

    • 51.1
      Marisa says:

      You certainly can skip the lemon zest if you don’t like it. You shouldn’t skip the lemon juice though, as it is necessary for safety.

  2. 52
    CJ says:

    Add some ginger in tamato jam.

  3. 53
    karen says:

    I am making this now, I have yellow cherry heirlooms and red ones so I mixed them to come up with enough from my garden. I plan to use it to add flavor to meats and to serve w creamcheese and crackers.

  4. 54
    Jess says:

    Poop – So i started chopping my tomatoes for this, and I’m stoked to make it, but I dont have a kitchen scale. Roughly how many cups of diced tomatoes are in this recipe? Or, if its easier, how should I divide this recipe up for 4 cups of diced tomatoes?

  5. 55
    Leslie says:

    I have the exact same question as Jess, above. I looked for weeks for sungolds and finally found some at the farmers market yesterday. I also don’t have a scale to weigh them – need an idea for roughly how many cups….? Hoping to make it tomorrow.

  6. 56

    […] by browsing the site’s extensive recipe collection which includes such colorful creations as Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam, Peach-Plum Ginger Jam, and Curried Coconut Pumpkin […]

  7. 57
    ashley c says:

    I was so pleasently surprised by this recipe. Originaly it just sounded off (I’m slowly expanding my taste outside of the box for me) and I really had no desire to make tomato jam to put on bread, cheese, or even chicken.

    However, I have slightly over 3 lbs of large yellow tomatoes and small cherry tomatoes and decided to give it a whirl.

    OMG I wish I had more of this, more yellow tomatoes. This was so good, I had plans of Christmas presents but I don’t think it will last threw November.

    Thanks for always provider a wide range of recipes, it’s helping me expand my taste buds.

  8. 58
    Leslie says:

    Fantastic! I will be thanking you all winter, as I open my jars of jam and am instantly transported to my tomato-and-basil-filled early September kitchen. I also reviewed this recipe on cookbooker, which you can see here. I just love your site – and your cookbook. Its made me dust off my old canning pot, and my 13-yr old daughter is enjoying learning the process.

  9. 59

    […] Basil Jam Adapted from Food in Jars, makes 5 half pint […]

  10. 60
    Melany says:

    Just made this today with heirloom tomatoes that were soft and juicy. Chopped them up and had German Greens, Great Whites, a couple of beef steak and a Purple Cherokee. Beautiful in the pot! Turned mostly red…. but oh so yummy!
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. 61

    […] Tomato Jam Makes enough to fill about six 4 ounce jars. Slightly adapted from Food  in Jars’ yellow tomato basil jam. […]

  12. 62

    I made this over the weekend and it is fantastic! It reminded me of the jam one of my favorite market vendors sells that I can only buy in summer, and now I have some stashed away for the cold months :-) I might need to make another batch just to make sure I have enough.

    Plus the little gold tomatoes are just so pretty.

  13. 63
    Andrew Jespersen says:

    Made this today and it’s great…I would say, though, that without knowing what Sungold Tomatoes are like, and how big they are, I probably didn’t chop my yellow tomatoes into small enough pieces. That said, they reduced nicely, so it’ll be a bit chunky but still delicious! Also, it took well over an hour for it to reduce.

    I added a Tbsp. of crushed pepper to give it a kick and left out the lemon zest. Five pounds of yellow tomatoes have me 6 half pints.

  14. 64

    […] won’t be any tomato jam from my kitchen this year. I promised to link the original recipe from Food in Jars, so here it is. My version uses a mix of chopped heirloom tomatoes in the same proportions, and I had planned on […]

  15. 65
    Gayle says:

    Love the Tomato Jam. It really is a hit with everyone I have served it. Now the growing season is over and I have an abundance of green tomatoes. Any reason that I cannot make the Tomato Jam recipe using green tomatoes?

  16. 66

    […] endless quarts and pints of both dill and bread-and-butter zucchini pickles. I also made batches of tomato basil jam and green chile jam. Head start on Christmas presents, I […]

  17. 67

    […] September, Marie posted a link to a recipe for tomato jam that used yellow heirloom tomatoes and basil. I spoke to Zia about my intention to try my hand at […]

  18. 68

    […] tomato sauce, and tomato jam. The tomato jam was one of my favorites and you can find the recipe here. I also did lots of pickled jalapenos and many other varieties of […]

  19. 69

    […] Yellow Tomato Jam, adapted from Food in Jars (I left out the basil) […]

  20. 70

    […] plants from last year that snuck in on me, and for which I am very grateful because now I can make yellow tomato and basil jam, too.  So far about 3 pounds of those are in the […]

    • 70.1
      Mandy Duffy says:

      Hi, can’t wait to make this! Do you leave the seeds, peels and juice in? if not is the 4 lbs after the juice and seeds and peels have been removed? Thank you

      • Marisa says:

        You use the seeds, peels and juice. I’d include the instructions to remove them if it was necessary. The four pounds is the starting weight.

  21. 71
    Jennifer says:

    If you were going to pectin-ize this would you use one package of pectin? And when would you add it?

  22. 72
    Liz says:

    I just made this with some yellow pear tomatoes from our garden… It is so delicious I was licking all the utensils. I’ve never had tomato jam before but we’ll have to make this every summer. Thanks!

  23. 73

    […] first became aware of tomato jam through my blogging friend, Marie, when she posted a link to a recipe for tomato jam that used Sungold cherry tomatoes. When I mentioned it to Zia, she remembered that Grandma had […]

  24. 74
    Kristina says:

    This looks great and works with what I got from my CSA yesterday. Bit does the process time apply to the pint or half pint? Thanks.

    • 74.1
      Marisa says:

      Processing time is the same for pints or smaller jars.

      • Kristina says:

        I’m really getting into canning and along the way I’m trying to understand the science behind it. Not to be a nudge, but why is it only 10 minutes when your “Amy’s” is for 20 minutes? Are yellow tomatoes more acidic than regular tomatoes? Or is it the difference between lemon and line juice? Thanks for your patience and tutelage.

        • Marisa says:

          When Amy gave me her recipe for tomato jam, she indicated that it should be processed for 20 minutes. To my mind, that’s a conservative amount of time to process that jam, but since it was what the recipe called for, I went with it. Typically, acidic jams only need ten minutes in the canner. So, when I wrote a recipe for tomato jam, I went with a time that was more in keeping with the norm.

  25. 75
    Jenny says:

    I had a bounty of yellow pear tomatoes – they are small, like cherry tomatoes but pear shaped and yellow. Oh, and also a bounty of basil! Came across this recipe and made 4 half pint jars of it and OMG it is delicious!!! I was worried my little yellow tomatoes would not be sweet enough but this jam rocks my world. Too bad I’m out of yellow tomatoes now ;-) maybe more next year….

    PS I was unable to get the jam up to 220 degrees without uber scorching so I packed it in the jars after it reached 215 and it set up just fine.

    • 75.1
      Marisa says:

      Have you calibrated your thermometer recently? This jam really should need to cook hotter than 215 in order to set up.

  26. 76
  27. 77

    […] for different and unique jam recipes, I came across a Yellow Tomato Basil Jam recipe over at Food In Jars… This is a great blog on canning with many […]

  28. 78

    […] my Tomato & Basil Jam, I used the Yellow Tomato & Basil Jam from Food in Jars blog. However, we used red canning tomatoes and doubled the […]

  29. 79
    Geoma says:

    Its been a while since this post, but I was wondering if this jam could be tried with vinegar instead of lemon juice… I want to use it as a glaze for chicken as suggested, but am thinking that white balsamic vinegar would add a nicer depth of flavor to the meat than lemon juice. But, might this cause problems in the canning? I know acid is important when canning tomatoes, but maybe the balsamic vinegar would still be okay?

    • 79.1
      Marisa says:

      Unfortunately, you can’t swap vinegar in for the lemon juice in this recipe. The lemon juice is serving as an acid balancer in this recipe, and vinegar doesn’t have the same concentration of acid.

  30. 80

    […] I found this basic recipe in a couple of places: My Homespun Home and Food in Jars. […]

  31. 81
    Beth says:

    I do not have the canning pot, and I’m not a fan of canned jams/jellies; however, I do like freezer jams. Can this Yellow Tomato and Basil jam be frozen instead?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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