Small Batch Tomato Jalapeño Jam

Prevent food waste with a tiny batch of tomato jalapeño jam. It needs just two clamshell boxes of grape tomatoes and less than an hour of cooking.

24 ounce jar of tomato jalapeño jam

I have half a dozen or so buckets of activity that I’m trying to move forward at the moment and I spend most of my time ricochetting between them. A book proposal. The podcast. My teaching schedule. Taxes. This blog. My email inbox (good lord, that inbox). And around 4:30 this afternoon, I was just done.

grape tomatoes for tomato jalapeño jam

I wandered to the fridge and started looking for things that needed to be used up. Even if I couldn’t move my work world any further at that moment, perhaps I could be productive in other ways.

slivered tomatoes for tomato jalapeño jam

I found two squat containers of grape tomatoes and a tiny jar containing three tablespoons of diced jalapeños (leftover from a recipe testing project that I did for a friend a couple weeks back). Ah yes. Tiny batch tomato jalapeño jam.

all ingredients for tomato jalapeño jam

From there, it was a matter of a few minutes of chopping, a quick bit of measuring, and 45 minutes of low simmer. I could have cooked it down more quickly over higher heat, but wanted to be able to do a sink full of dishes and some other prep, and so opted for a lazy bubble rather than a frenzied one.

cooked tomato jalapeño jam

And then, it was done. Tomatoes and jalapeños repurposed rather than wasted and a sense of purpose regained. Now, I’ll confess that finished batch doesn’t forge any particularly new territory in the world of tomato jams. But the heat and brightness of flavor made it delicious enough to merit a quick blog post. And so here we are.

Now, tell me. How do you handle it when you hit a work wall?

Small Batch Tomato Jalapeño Jam

Yield: makes 3 half pints

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons diced jalapeños
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and three half pint jars.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, jalapeños, salt, and lemon zest and juice in a low, wide, non-reactive pan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until thick (30-45 minutes, depending on the height of the heat and the width of your pan).
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the jam a bit, if you want a smoother texture (this also helps integrate the jalapeños, making for a more uniformly spicy preserve).
  5. Funnel into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  6. When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
http://foodinjars.com/2017/03/tomato-jalapeno-jam/

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17 Responses to Small Batch Tomato Jalapeño Jam

  1. 1
    Heather says:

    Marisa,

    I had the same kind of week, deadlines/engine repairs/appointments, and found myself craving a little galley time as well. Somehow spending a few hours working with your hands and having a tangible, and delicious, result afterwards is just the balm needed to counterpoint a whole lot of other balls in the air/works in progress. Also, I recently decided that it is important to take a day off – you know one where you don’t think about work/check emails/post online or even pick up a device? OK, if not a day then at least a few hours. Sometimes “doing nothing” is doing more than your realize. Have a great weekend and thanks!

    Heather

  2. 2
    ColleenB.~Texas says:

    I know a couple of son-in-laws who would absolutely love this.
    Thank you

  3. 3
    Lisa Noble says:

    Marisa, I’m with Heather. Working productively with my hands, whether it’s prepping a family meal, getting the week’s granola baked, or (my favourite) some time with my knitting needles or spinning wheel helps centre me, and makes it easier to go back to other tasks. Last week, I had a week off for March break, with a fairly long to-do list. One of the gifts of being married to my spouse is time at my in-laws, with no wifi. I had to organize my work list so the online tasks were done before we headed up to their house and starting this year’s maple syrup process. Being forced to build in a digital break is a really good thing for me.

    Also for me, getting outside for a walk or bike ride is a quick refocus strategy.

  4. 4
    Michele Benoit says:

    My dog gets to enjoy a long-awaited game of fetch in the back yard!

  5. 5
    Lauren E says:

    So I have a food safety question…I made a batch of your smoky, spicy tomato jam back in October or November, and I have a couple of jars in the fridge. What I can’t remember is if the ones in the fridge are the ones that didn’t seal properly and I popped them in the fridge immediately, or if they are the ones that have the leftover jam that wasn’t quite enough to fill a jar. Are they safe to eat (assuming they aren’t fuzzy – I haven’t peeked in them for a while) or should I toss them? I do have other, sealed jars, so if the verdict is to toss them, I’ll be sad but it won’t be a complete loss. Thanks in advance for your input!

    • 5.1
      Marisa says:

      As they loss fine, they are fine.

      • Lauren E says:

        Thanks! I wasn’t sure because I’m always a little iffy about tomatoes (the whole botulism thing…), and I couldn’t remember if I’d processed the jars that were low volume or not. I will do a better job of labeling them the next time!

  6. 6
    Kate says:

    Tomato jam on scrapple. Nmmmm.

  7. 7
    Patty Schell says:

    When a wall looms large, I go to the kitchen, too. I can always feel productive there. Thanks for your post. I think I’ll give the recipe a try.

  8. 8

    […] Prevent food waste with a tiny batch of tomato jalapeño jam. It needs just two clamshell boxes of grape tomatoes and less than an hour of cooking. […]

  9. 9
    Hadley Allen says:

    I try to find something that I can FINISH. So many of my projects take hours to finish, sometimes over the period of weeks or months (crocheting a bed spread for instance).

    For some reason, putting a stamp on a letter and mailing gives me a sense of accomplishment, so if I have some office work to do, I’ll do that. I don’t like to cook because of the clean up, but laundry is soothing in the “Well, that’s done,” category.

    So, that’s what I do when I hit a work wall.

  10. 10
    Cathy says:

    Just made a half batch of this using lime (seeing as we are purging the fridge!) and it’s lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  11. 11

    I love that this uses grape tomatoes. Sometime I’m buried in them if the CSA harvest is particularly good! Sooo looking forward to summer!

  12. 12
    Andrea says:

    I keep a cleaned clamshell in my freezer and throw in any grape tomatoes that are wrinkled, getting a little too soft, or otherwise are not presentable in salad or on a veggie tray. I either throw a few of them into something that needs just a small bit of tomato (like pea soup) or I use them for tomato jam. My hubs makes a fantastic tomato shrub and I freeze the strained-out grape tomatoes and use that as the base for tomato jam.

  13. 13
    Linda Fibish says:

    Could I freeze this tomato jam instead of using a water bath?

  14. 14

    Curious how you serve this jam. I had almost one pound of cherry tomatoes and a couple of small Marzano tomatoes from my garden. They weren’t going to be used, and I hate for anything from my garden to go to waste. So one pound made one perfectly cute 8 oz. jar. But now I need ideas for how to use it. Honestly, I want to try the jam first. Then as I make additional jars, I can also give them as gifts or in gift baskets.

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  1. Modish Taste | Small Batch Tomato Jalapeño Jam - March 26, 2017

    […] Prevent food waste with a tiny batch of tomato jalapeño jam. It needs just two clamshell boxes of grape tomatoes and less than an hour of cooking. […]

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