Tomato Jam

September 15, 2010

This tomato jam is one of the most popular recipes I’ve ever published. I can’t even take credit for it, the recipe came to me from a friend! It’s better than the most delicious ketchup you’ve ever tasted. I’ve updated the photos, but the recipe is the same.

I used to have a fantastic coworker named John. He was calm in the face of chaos, had a buoyant sense of humor and knew how not to take things too seriously. And, his wife Amy just happened to be my kitchen soulmate. You’ve got to love a coworker who comes attached to good people.

Amy was the first person to introduce to me tomato jam and now I can’t go back to a life without it. She gave me a jar with the recipe attached, and I am forever grateful. I use it in place of ketchup (with turkey burgers), as well as in places where ketchup wouldn’t dare to tread (try it with a soft, stinky cheese. It is life changing).

For those of you who are accustomed to preserving tomatoes, you’ll notice that this recipe does not call for you to peel these tomatoes. That is not a mistake.

The first time I made a batch, I thought I could improve on things and peeled and seeded the tomatoes prior to cooking them down. However, without those bits, the finished jam was too sweet and entirely without texture. It needs the skin and seeds. Don’t take them out.

Tomato Jam

Yield: Varies depending on the kind of tomato used, pan width and the finished thickness*

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, cook at a low boiluntil it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
  2. When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
  3. When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Notes

*The finished yield on this recipe varies depending on the kind of tomato you use, the width of your pan and the finished thickness to which you cook it.

https://foodinjars.com/recipe/tomato-jam/

511 responses to “Tomato Jam”

  1. I just made a triple batch the other day, I have it in the fridge waiting to finish. My question is, if my jam seems watery should I add pectin ? I cooked it on the stove for a few hours and put it in the crockpot over night, and it still isn’t a jammy consistency. Would adding more sugar be a solution ?

    Thanks !

    • It sounds like it just needs more cooking. You really need to cook it to the point where it’s just under a boil. It should be 205-210 degrees. Little bubbles, stirring frequently, to cook the water out.

  2. Delicious! I just finished making a double batch with Juliet tomatoes; I quartered them and chopped some smaller. Consensus: quartering would be plenty sufficient. This jam is subtle but bold, delicate flavors juxtaposed against strong aromatics – in a word, sublime!! Thanks, Marisa … I was so excited to not have to peel ten pounds of Juliet tomatoes with this blessed recipe – and I love your blogs and beautiful photography!!

  3. Hi there! I can’t wait to try this. I have tons of grape tomatoes that are frozen. How should I prepare them? Defrost and a quick run through a blender? I am not too keen the idea of trying to chop them all up. Thanks!

  4. I made this at the reccomendation of my sister-in law. Holy crap is it good. Next time you make chili put about 1/4 of tomato jam in it. Huge difference my best pot of chilit yet.

  5. I was surprised just how good this recipe is…. I was skeptical on the sound of it, but is turned out awesome. When I was having trouble with it thickening, I just added a little more sugar, and it set up perfect. I am making my second batch right now, the first batch was with the seeds, and skin, the second I used a food mill and am trying to have it turn out like a jelly. I put it on a Wheat Thin Cracker, with cream cheese..YUM. Thanks for the great recipe.

  6. First of all, I love your site (& have put your book on my wish list)!
    I have just finished making a batch of your tomato jam. I absolutely love it – I’m already envisioning a round of Brie smothered in the jam baked inside puff pastry… My husband found it too sweet. My ‘long story short’ question is can you reduce the amount of sugar in the jam without messing it up?

    • You can reduce the sugar a bit, but sugar does play a role in its finished consistency, so you don’t want to pull it back too much.

      • We are in the process of simmering and we are on hour 4. Just wondering what we can do to speed up the cook down process?! Also would straining the chopped tomatoes before hand help?

  7. I’m a huge fan of this recipe. It’s now a pantry staple – thankyou! I’m about to inundated with a pre-frost harvest of green tomatoes here in the midwest. Have you ever adapted it for greens? Is the acidity in green tomatoes different (which would mean I’d need to adjust the acid levels?). Much appreciate any thoughts…(and I’ll let you know how it works out!)

    • How did it turn out? I just picked a few pounds of green tomatoes before the upcoming frost and have made this jam using red ones. Crossing my fingers that you had good luck!

  8. Aha, so that’s what we did wrong….we were processing 20 lbs of tomatoes (for various uses) and skinned/seeded them all before we started making jam. Next time we’ll just chop and go! Our jam, despite 2 hrs of simmering, was runny. Also we used honey and sugar (much less than the NY Times/Melissa Clark recipe called for), and I think the honey flavor was too strong.

    Thanks! Love this site!

  9. Could I substitute a different sweetener for the sugar? Is it safe to can with less sugar? Also, would it be safe to use fresh hot peppers instead of chili flakes?

    • No, you can’t use a different sweetener, because you need the chemical reaction that sugar provides. You can safely reduce the sugar, but you don’t want to cut it back too drastically. And if you’re going to use fresh pepper, you can’t use much.

  10. I made tomato jam about 4 weeks ago and love this recipe! However, I did not water bath mine, the lids are sealed and they have been stored in a cool dark place. Would it be safe to water bath them now? I would hate to have to throw it all out, but I would hate to get sick or worse, worse…
    Thanks!

  11. I have a bunch of grape tomatoes to preserve. My question is, can this be stored as freezer jam? And if so how long would it last? I have no canning equipment or experience. I did make two batches of freezer strawberry jam this summer, though! Thanks!

  12. i made a batch yesterday and stuck it in the fridge overnight-do i need to bring to room temp or anything before i go ahead with the water bath? thanks!

  13. OMG!!! Just put it in the jars. A bit of heaven. I used my grape tomatoes. I had a moment when it began to darken…I was almost going to grab my stick blender and smooth it out a bit…sooooo glad I didn’t. It is awesome.
    Thank you…Thank you.

  14. Can you use fresh lime juice or does it need to be the concentrated juice out of the bottle? thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    • Normally when it comes to tomatoes, you want to use the bottled juice because of its consistency acidity. However, with this recipe, I’ve includes more than double the amount of lime juice necessary for safety, so you can use fresh and not worry if the fresh lime juice happens to be slightly lower in acidity than the bottled version.

  15. Marissa, is this a recipe that can be doubled or even tripled in the pan? It’s so, so good, but it’s hard to be able to make only four half pints (if I’m lucky!) at a time. I’m wondering also about adding some garlic or onions: we found some onions in the soil (planted by a colleague) when pulling all the tomato plants out.

    Thanks!

  16. So I tried the Tomato Jam Recipe – and I made the fatal mistake of running to town for a few items while it cooked……I came home and it had stuck and looked like it was burnt. Tasting it it doesn’t taste burnt but taste really strong and concentrated. So question for everyone is – do I make another batch and incorporate this one into it to “thin it” or do I can this little bit knowing I only use a teaspoon of the stuff on anything…Help!

  17. YUM! This recipe is fantastic! I will be making more of this to use up the remaining tomatoes in the garden. I was worried that some of my tomatoes were to ‘orange’ but after cooking the jam is still a deep beautiful red and tastes delicious! I have a new baby so I couldn’t dedicate 1.5 hours of stirring and attention so I reduced my jam in a crock pot with the lid askew (no chance of burning). I left it on low overnight, and will crank it on high for a few more hours this morning so it thickens to my liking. I will also give it one final boil on the stove as an extra food safety measure before canning.
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  18. I just made this jam and it’s in jars and one has already “popped”! I got four half pints out of the 5 pounds of tomatoes and I had no problem at all with it thickening – I just followed Marissa’s definition of simmering being at a very low boil. The recipe called for lime juice so I squeezed fresh limes; it did not occur to me that the acidity in bottled lime juice would be different. I had no fresh ginger so I simply left that out and it tastes quite yummy regardless. This was SUPER easy to make and I recommend it for someone who is not used to making jam or canning anything as a first try. I’m going to put this on veggie burgers, and brie or cream cheese as a dip. I’m sure roasted potatoes would enjoy this topping as well….and scrambled eggs. Anything that you would put ketchup on or chili sauce would be good, I’m sure. Thank you for a great recipe!

  19. My husband and I are on a quest to reduce the sugar and eliminate the grains in our diet. I wanted to make this, but I couldn’t add that much sugar. So, I used half the recommended amount of sugar, but I did it with a half sugar/half splenda mixture and 1/4 c of honey swirled in near the end. Then I doubled this recipe (WE LOVE TOMATO JAM) otherwise. I added two tbsp of smoked paprika (remember this was a double batch) and subbed half of the lime juice with balsamic vinegar. I initially started the jam on the stove until the liquid was cooked down by 1/4, then it all went in the crock pot on high overnight and on low during the next day. I elevated the crockpot lid with a couple of wooden spoons so it could reduce, retain heat and not spatter.

    This is so versatile and delicious…we love it on cooked turkey and chicken, salmon, cheeses, you name it, it’s delish!

  20. Hi,
    Just googled tomato jam and found your site. I am a big fan of slow roasting
    tomatoes but thought having a jar of jam would be nice, too. I am not a person
    who does ‘jam’ so I am unfamiliar with the ‘bathing’ part.
    So, if I do not do this process:
    How long would a jar last in the fidge?
    Can a jar be frozen till ready for use.

  21. Marisa,
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe-served it at book club with soft goat cheese, brie and crackers and it was a huge hit. I was very dubious about using this recipe initially but I have several varieties of cherry tomatoes that I needed to use. This was a great site for preserving these tomatoes instead of having them go to waste. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe and site!

  22. Thanks SO much for this recipe. I’ve just learned to can in the last few months. This is BY FAR the best jelly I’ve made! Thanks again!

  23. Thanks for sharing. A few questions from a newbie:
    1. What size pot did you use? I am trying to figure out what size I may need to buy.
    2. Can you use early girl tomatoes?

    • 1. I tend to use a wide, 8 quart pan to cook this jam in. You want something that is wide, low, and non-reactive (meaning, it’s made from bare cast iron or bare aluminum).
      2. You can certain use early girls.

      • One thing to bear in mind about early girls, though, is their thicker skins (especially if you’re using dry-farmed ones). I split 50/50 momotaros and early girls and I still felt like I was happier fishing out a few skins towards the end.

        PS, Marisa, I’m Stephanie’s (grubreport) friend who asked about canning whole tomatoes in pints. Thanks for the advice – worked perfectly!

        • Hello Fatemeh! Thanks so much for weighing in on the Early Girl issue! And I’m so glad to hear that my advice was helpful!

  24. Hi, I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I love it! Jam, brie, and Arugula sandwiches are delicious. Anyway, I don’t have a food scale, and I picked the last of my tomatoes from my garden, but I am not sure how much it is. About how many cups are in 5lbs? I am using juliet tomatoes (last time I approximated 2 cups per pound).

  25. Thank you so much for this recipe! It is fantastic. I put it in a provolone grilled cheese the other day… yum. Some of the jam oozed out of the sandwich and onto the pan and it got all thick and sticky and caramelized- it was like tomato candy. In a good way!

    Thanks again!

  26. I made my first batch last night, and it was amazing! I can’t wait to put it on a grilled cheese, or really just open up a jar and eat it straight. It may be served with brie and crackers tomorrow night too. And perhaps over eggs tomorrow morning…

  27. Had Tomato Jam at the Z Cafe here in Pleasanton, CA it was so good in my sandwich, came home that day and saw all my tomatoes on my plant and now I’ve made 3 batches of it. I keep giving it away so everyone can try it. X-mas gifts here we go. Thanks!!

  28. Am making this for the first time, first time jam ever actually, and am wondering if I simmer covered or uncovered? In the process now so am going to try uncovered but let me know for next time!

    Thanks:)

  29. I made this the other day and have it set aside for gifts. It is really good, but a little sweet for me since I don’t eat sweets. I added just a splash of balsamic vinegar to give it some depth and cut the sweetness some. Delicious.

    I’ll make this again next summer when the tomatoes come in.

  30. I used this last night as a glaze for roasted chicken (along with a little bit of dijon mustard) and I think that’s my new favorite tomato jam application. Thanks!

  31. Everybody I gave a jar to LOVES this jam! Thank you for the recipe! I was just wondering how you came up with the twenty minute processing time?

    • Tomato Jam is traditional and Portuguese,my grand mother made this every year,when was the time for the tomato picking in our farm,and this is not the correct way to make this speacial Jam ,yes it can be use as a ketchup as it has been added with other ingredients savory, but to be a delicious flavoured Tomato Jam it doesnt need any savoury ingredients,as it is naturally delicious from its original way of making it,as i stil make it myself.
      IT has a great secret.

  32. I made you tomato jam recipe yesterday.It is really nice however a little too sweet.
    I skipped the final process in the water bath. How long will it last in the cupboard or is it better to keep it in the fridge?

    • Chrissy, if you don’t run it through the water bath process, you must refrigerate it. It is not shelf stable otherwise.

  33. I got 15 pounds of really ripe tomatoes for cheap at a local farmers market so tomato jam here I come. Half my BFFs are on some crazy sugar free diet so I decreased the sugar to 2 cups, added a minced jalapeño and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar per someone else’s suggestion. It’s cooking now and smells awesome. I’m not going to can this batch because I’ll bet said BFFs are going to gobbleit up tonight. Will adjust favors and can th next batch because I still have 10# of tomatoes to use up.

  34. What size jars is the processing time for this recipe? I am always looking for recipes that don’t involve peeling and seeding things!

  35. Hi – we planted a bunch of tomato plants – and the ones that survived only produced baby tomatoes…. as I scoured to find what to use my tomatoes for I found the recipe – and a few hours later am enjoying my 5 star tomato jam!! It is amazing!! I scooped out the remainder from my saucepan (during processing) and paired it with Ewephoria Gouda + red wine…. yum!! Can’t wait to share the rest.

    • You could certainly try replacing some of the sugar with Splenda. However, do know that this recipe depends on the sugar for texture and set, so if you replace all the sugar with Splenda, you’re going to have a hell of a time getting it to set. What’s more, sugar acts as a preservative, so a batch made without it won’t last as long. Finally, I must tell you that I’ve never made it with Splenda, so I can’t guarantee your results. It might be terrible. I just don’t know.

  36. I LOVE this recipe, it never lasts very long in my house! I’m just using regular jam jars with screw lids as the preserving jars are expensive in London. Is there a way to seal normal jam jars to make this self safe????

  37. Just about to make the 2013 of this jam, which was the hugest hit last year. Everyone we gave a jar to raved, and asked if they could get a bigger jar next time! Last year, I dropped the sugar to 2.5 c and increased lime juice to 10T, as well as 1 tsp paprika which I saw recommended in a couple of comments – the balance of sweet/acid/spice was perfect for our tastes. This time, I mistakenly measured 1.5 T red chili flakes, and I’m inclined to “go for it” rather than make myself crazy trying to spoon some out. We do like spicy so I don’t think the taste will be the issue, but I would love to know if an additional 1/2 T of the chili flakes would impact acid levels. I am still going with the 10T lime juice (up from your 8T). I’m a pretty experienced canner in terms of the cooking/jarring part, but have never been confident about the acidity part, and rely on folks like you for safe recipes.

    • Actually increased lime juice to 12T, just for giggles. Still interested in your thoughts on acidity impact of 1 tsp paprika and and extra 1/2 T chili flakes.

  38. I only have 2 lbs of cherry tomatoes but I don’t want them to go bad. Can I still do this recipe just 1/2 it?

      • You can definitely cut it in half. I’ve not tried it with green tomatoes, so I don’t know how that will impact the yield and flavor.

        • how long to just pressure it – (not a water bath) and at how many pounds? for pints.
          also, I would like to use only honey – (half the amount of sugar) – anyone else try that?

          • Deby, this recipe does not need to be pressure canned. It has more than enough acid for boiling water bath canning. There’s absolutely no reason to process it in a pressure canner. To swap honey for sugar, reduce the volume by 3/4.

  39. we are trying this , but our tomatoes had parts that we needed to cut off. Plus I don’t have a scale. Could you please tell me how many cups of tomatoes cut up would be??
    THANKS!

      • Well, it’s 9:16pm – still trying to cook these tomatoes down. My house smells ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!!! Nice addition to this Fall type day. I had some REAL juicy tomatoes I guess. My husband loves the flavor already! He chopped all the tomatoes, so we’re not giving up! We doubled the recipe since we have an overload of tomatoes. Just about ready to can. :o)

        • Deby, it’s the fact that you doubled the recipe that’s causing your troubles getting it to cook down. When you put more volume in the pot but you don’t increase the surface area, you vastly increase the amount of time it takes to reduce. Keep with it, though. It will happen eventually, though.

  40. I just made my 2nd batch of this delicious tomato jam with one snafu: after water bath and all half-pint pinged and sealed, it seems I have more of a ketchup consistency this go round vs a jammy set . Can i open and cook down more, then reprocess?

      • I just made this and it came out runny. I am about to open the jars and reboil and add pectin….should I not succumb to the allure of pectin? will that even work?
        I need it to be firm! btw i used all cherry tomatoes and 3 cups sugar instead of 3.5…

        • If it’s runny, that simply means you didn’t cook it enough (reducing the sugar also leads to a looser texture). If you want to firm it up, it would be better to open the jars and cook it longer. Pectin isn’t really necessary here, more cooking time is.

  41. Thank you for posting this recipe . I made this over the weekend and it is amazing. I took the advice of other people and added little bit of balsamic vinegar to minimize the sweetness. It’s now are go to on everything.

  42. Hi, I tried this and it is wonderful but I woud like to know if there is a savory recipe without sugar (like sun dried tomato?). I really like tomatoes without that sugary taste, too.

    • You’re really talking about a tomato paste or spread. I’m not entirely sure how you’d achieve that and safely can it.

  43. This is crazy, crazy good! I love it on cheese toast (w/ a good, extra sharp cheddar) and pairing it with some smoked goat cheese and thin flatbread is amazing. Fortunately I learned this before tomato season ended and I will make more to get me through the year and for gifts.

  44. Woah! Is this stuff good or what?! I got a bushel of canning tomatoes from a local farmer last week and made some ketchup, pasta sauce, tomato paste, and just a few canned tomatoes. I had about 5 lbs left and found this recipe and thought I would give it a try. It is absolutely amazing!!! I can’t wait to use it! After reading the comments I decided to use a bit less sugar (2 1/2 C) and a splash of balsamic and it is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  45. Your recipe yielded 8 (8 oz) jars perfectly! I couldn’t imagine what those ingredients would taste like together (cinnamon and tomato??) but WOW!!! I’ll be making another batch next week! It’s gonna be so good warmed up over cream cheese w/ crackers!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  46. Can this be made in a crock pot? If so, how long would you recommend on a low setting?

    If this has already been asked, sorry, I didn’t find it in the comments.

    • Joy, you could cook it down for a while in a slow cooker, but it does need the heat of the stove top towards the end of cooking in order to concentrate and thicken. I don’t know how long you’d cook it down in a slow cooker to start, though.

  47. I really like this recipe, but I wouldn’t mind if it had more of a kick. Can you safely add more ginger? I know ginger is not an acid food, so I am not sure how that would affect the overall acidity of the finished product. Thank you!

  48. Marisa, I can’t thank you enough for this amazing recipe. I had a harvest of best boy tomatoes this year and have made two batches so far. I plan to make a third because everyone I give this too is demanding more. I’ve been enjoying it with cream cheese and crackers but I ran out of cream cheese and admittedly have resorted to consuming it straight from the jar. Thank you so much!

  49. Had a few overripe tomatoes from the quicksale table at the supermarket so I fiddled the quantities and made a jar. REALLY GOOD. Try it with goat cheese on a nice cracker! I’ll be checking the farmers market in hopes of getting some good local late tomatoes and doing a full batch.

  50. Hi …. looks like a great recipe. I do not have a kitchen scale though …. how many cups would 5 lbs of chopped tomatoes be?

  51. Holy Moly … My life HAS changed with this Tomato Jam …. I think I have put up about 20 jars and am praying for 5 more lbs. of tomatoes from the garden’s last batch this year.

    This will be my “go to’ jam next year … We eat it on EVERYTHING ( even just spoonfuls from the jar

    This Recipe is Jam from the Gods 🙂

    I bought your book and am thrilled, I adore it, it’s my new treasure. It is Stunning and dreamy. I will be making my way thru it, recipe by recipe.

    I am a 4th generation canner and preserver and you have brought a new breath of sunshine to the art of “Putting Up” … Thank You Marisa XX and THANK YOU for sharing Tomato Jam !!!! XX

  52. I made this using canned crushed tomato. I was looking for a tomato jam that could be used in BLT sandwich so I only used 1 cup sugar and 1 box of “no sugar added” powdered pectin. I used citric acid in place of the lime juice 3/4 teaspoon as I was planning for 5 half pint jars. The results were fantastic. Thanks for the recipe and instructions. BTW — the canned tomato I used did not have calcium chloride as an ingredient only tomato, citric acid and salt. In 2014 I will make this with my own garden tomatoes.

  53. I made this with about 3 pounds of cherry tomatoes harvested from an abandoned plot at my community garden. I added the following proportions and not only did it come out AMAZING but it filled 12 half pint jars:

    3 pounds cherry (about 1/2 pound of them were green)
    5 TBS lemon juice (didn’t have lime but bet it’s WORTH it to get it next time!)
    2 cups sugar (could still be amazing if I used 1.5 cups instead)
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 TBS salt
    3/4 TBS flakes

    Thank you so much for the recipe – so so delicious. I’m sending them out as Autumn/Winter gifts to friends and family. <3

  54. Does anyone know the processing time for pressure canning? I realize I can water bath can this stuff, but honestly, I can process more jars in a shorter amount of time by using a pressure cannr

  55. Made this but caramelized 3 onions first to add some extra texture/savory goodness. I also added a little cumin. It was amazing. Thanks so much for this great recipe.

    • Janice, if you added three onions to this recipe, there is probably not enough acid in the jam for it to be safe for canning. I’d recommend putting your jars into the fridge.

      • I just tried to make this recipe with the Stupice tomatoes from my garden. It has too much liquid so I let it go and now it is too concentrated. Is there anyway to save this giant pot of almost yummy tomato jam?

      • I’ve made tomato jam (my own recipe) for four years now, always include a lg. chopped (raw) onion to 5 lbs. tomatoes, can it (water bath, 15 minutes), have never had a jar spoil or make anyone sick.

        • Then you’ve had really good luck. There is not technically enough additional acid in that recipe for the safe inclusion of an onion.

  56. Finnaly made it … Just like the recipe states .
    It is one of those love or hate things , I love it.
    Thanks for posting this recipe. A great site

  57. O.M.G. I made this and as a little on the skeptical side. But when I tasted it I was sold. And sorry I was out of tomatoes to make more. I will be planting more tomatoes this year and THIS is on my list of things to make again and in several batches. On pork chops. On meatloaf. On a spoon.

    • I followed Gabriela’s ingredient proportions for 3 pounds of cherry tomatoes (from Nov 2013 post) and the jam turned out great! I had never had tomato jam and didn’t know what to expect as far as consistency, so I may have cooked mine down longer than she did because my yield was only a pint and a half. After chilling, it is still spreadable, and since making it yesterday, we’ve had it last night on pork roast that I happened to have going in the crock pot, on scrambled eggs this morning, and then again with the pork as a “BBQ” sandwich for lunch! I haven’t canned anything before and didn’t really have all the right equipment, but I added some Citric Acid to each jar before filling based on the package directions (it caught my eye by the jar display because it was specifically referencing tomatoes) and I think I got the jars boiled well enough. In the end, I’m opting to keep the jars in the fridge because I don’t know if I did everything right, but this recipe is a keeper because we have tons of cherry tomatoes each year. THANK YOU, MARISA, for a wonderful recipe and introduction it canning!

  58. Wonderful jam! I also tried with a slightly different twist, I added about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, the peel from 1/8th of a lemon – diced, a teaspoon of lemon pulp, and used whole cloves, but removed the cloves after first 45 minutes (We’re not big on cloves, and they were easy to remove, floated to the top. ). Added a 1/2 teaspoon of Valencia Orange peel (McCormick’s spice). WE LOVE IT !!!!

  59. Howdy. Farmer Jones here, growing organic veg and canning, in Buda, Tx. I just wanted to say that this recipe is awesome! I have “tweaked” it to a degree, to fit the palette of my audience however, I could never have created such a tomatoey gem, w/our your guidance. Thank you so much for this. I’m selling/sharing/eating this jam like crazy!!!

  60. I am interested in making some tomato jam. ESPECIALLY since it doesn’t call for seeding or peeling. Is there a conversion available to cook this in a slow cooker? I have a newer slow cooker that has a high/low/warm settings.

  61. I have a large assortment of cherry, grape, heirloom, Cherokee Purple and yellow/orange tomatoes. Can I use them interchangeably in this recipe? I noticed in the recipe for the Orange Tomato and Smoked Paprika jam, there was added vinegar to add acidity. If I were to use a mix including orange tomatoes in this recipe, would I need to add vinegar, and how much? Thanks!

    • Good question. I hope someone answers this. I was just going to use whatever tomatoes I have. I was just searching the comment section to see if there are any answers to this.

      • You can use a mix of tomatoes without making any other changes to the recipe (in this recipe, the lime juice is serving as the acid source). The only thing to know is that it may alter the yield some, because the tomatoes you suggest are higher in water content than the plum/roma tomatoes I used).

  62. Made 4.5 pints of 4 lbs of mixed heirloom tomatoes last night, reduced the sugar a bit and kept all the red pepper. Delicious! Thanks for sharing this!

  63. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I looked over several on-line recipes for tomato jam before deciding on yours. I had an over abundance of tomatoes from my garden. The result is a delicious, savory tomato jam that I will make again soon. I made a few adjustments by adding chopped garlic, shallots, basil, and garlic salt and truffle salt (to replace salt) to my recipe. Also used fresh habanero peppers instead of chili flakes. Kept everything else the same. My yield was 6 half pint jars. Great recipe.

    • Cheryl, you have to be really careful when adjusting recipes like this one. Adding garlic, shallots, and fresh habanero could potentially make this recipe unsafe, as they are low acid ingredients and so could potentially render the recipe too low in acid for boiling water bath canning.

  64. Made this for the first time today. Wasn’t sure what to expect because I’ve never had tomato jam before – it just sounded good. I cooked it for about 1.5 hours in a cast iron pot. A little worried it’s still too juicy, but the flavor is great. Looking forward to trying it soon. Any suggestions for great combos with this jam would be appreciated.
    Thank you, Marissa. You’re a canning Goddess!

  65. Made this yesterday and I’m so glad I tried it! I had some last night with sharp cheddar, so good! I can’t wait to try it on a bagel with cream cheese or on a chicken sandwich. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  66. Does anyone know how to make Tomato Preserves like they do in Tennessee? I lost Mawmaws recipe and I think she used clove sticks and did not use the ginger. She also used pectin. Thanks

  67. Hello – I’ve been grousing around my kitchen for a few weeks about all the tomatoes overflowing from baskets and bowls, not to mention the yummy but overabundant orange and grape cherry tomatoes I wound up with – after not getting my garden in until mid-June. I found this recipe when looking for a way to preserve cherry tomatoes – thank you!!! I made it exactly as directed, although I had to add more pepper and the salt half-way through cooking because my husband misread the directions . . . I have three and a half pints of yummy jam. Can’t wait. I made homemade ketchup this year too – I have three pints of that, and the recipes are quite similar. We’ll be doing some taste comparisons to see what we like better I’m sure.

  68. Made this today with yellow grape tomatoes, probably could have cut down on the sugar. I added about a tsp of liquid smoke and that gave it a nice dimension too. I also added some minced garlic. It’s not yet thick like jam (it’s still cooking). Will it thicken when it cools? It’s delicious.

    • It will thicken some as it cools, but you want to cook it until it is fairly thick. Also, it’s not a great idea to add garlic to products like this, because garlic is low in acid and it could potentially make it unsafe.

  69. I just made this recipe last week, very good but I ended up adding more tomatoes last minute because I found what I had was much much too sweet, do you think this may have offset the pH? I’m new at canning and so nervous about botulism!

  70. I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to make this jam. Even got some mid-winter tomatoes from a world market to try it out. I did exactly what you had and it’s awesome. I can’t wait to try it with vine ripened tomatoes from the garden or farmers market. Thank you!

  71. So I used this recipe this summer to put up my endless mounds of cherry tomatoes (food scale is a must!). It turned out a little spicy for me personally, so next time I’ll use a pinch less. BUT, I just used this in place of ketchup to make my meatloaf, and let me tell you, it is amazing! It is impossible for meatloaf to be bland with this in it! I used a half pint in a 2 lbs meatloaf. It is even good as leftovers.

  72. Hi,
    I just made this with lemon juice rather than lime. Is that a problem? I also added 3T apple cider vinegar because I found it too sweet. Hopefully, that is enough acid? Thank you. The part that didn’t make it into a jar is going on my eggs in just a few minutes! Lovely!

  73. A few questions. I was thinking of oven roasting the tomatoes a bit before starting.

    Several people have added garlic/shallots/onions thereby changing the ph. Are there guidelines as to how to tweek? In other words if I add a cup of onions how many teaspoons/ounces of lemon/lime/vinegar should I add in addition?

    For example, in a corn relish recipe I replaced half the peppers with onions (as it had none) because the FDA chart of vegetable ph listed
    Onions have a ph between 5.37 and 5.85
    Green peppers have a ph of 5.3-5.93

    so I figured I could make the substitution.

    • Have to say, glad i roasted about 2 of the 5 pounds of tomatoes! Slow and low! The tomatoes that I cooked down became uniform in color, but the sun-gold and yellow pear cherry tomatoes that I roasted maintained some of their shape and the cook down time was surely shorter. I love the chunkiness that the slow roasted tomatoes added, much like a nice cherry jam! A hint of caramelization took place as well!

      It also solved another problem; some of the tomatoes were ready to use and some needed another day or two, the roasted tomatoes were stored in the fridge until needed and the remaining ripened quite nicely!

    • Esther, it’s not an approved acidification method but that is a similar pH to lemon juice, so I imagine it would serve well.

  74. I made batches and batches of salsa for husband with our cherry tomatoes because he just loves it. I am SO over salsa but still had tons of tomatoes. I made roasted cherry tomatoes, something else called Tomato Jam but is more like a really flavorful tomato paste, and all kinds of appetizers and still had cherry tomatoes! Then I came across this. I’ve made two batches and now (I can’t believe I’m saying this), I wish I had more cherry tomatoes! I hate skins and seeds but Marissa is right, they have to be in this and its actually good this way. I still have some heirloom and romas left that I was going to just dice and can to use in soups, stews, etc this winter but screw that. I can buy canned tomatoes…I can’t buy this deliciousness anywhere so I’m going to have to make it until I have no more tomatoes left. So far we have just had it with cream cheese on crackers, but I’m going to try it on a pork loin later this week…I can’t wait. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  75. Hi Marisa, I’ve made this Tomato Jam for well over 3 years now. I make it exactly as written and it’s everyone’s Favorite. My question is as I’m making 4 batches, would there be anything technically wrong with cooking a 2 double batches to save time? Or this one of those tricky things that shouldn’t be doubled. You’re awesome!

    • You could double the batch, but it’s going to take a VERY long time to cook down and you will run the risk of burning the bottom if you’re not militant about continually stirring. So my answer is, you can do it, but there are risks.

  76. I just finished making this for the very first time. It tastes just exactly as good as–maybe even better than–it sounded. I used a mix of San Marzano, Black Krim, and Beefeater, and made only minor changes to the recipe–3 cups of sugar, 1.5 tsp of dried ginger, and 2 tsp of red pepper flakes. I got seven 4 ounce jars out of it, plus a little. The first 4 jars are in the canner right now and I’m enjoying some of the “didn’t fit” on butter crackers. I will definitely be making this one again! 🙂

  77. Hi Marissa,
    This tomato jam is fantastic, I love the idea of using the oven – genius!
    I hope you don’t mind that I shared this link and a photo (with full credit) on my canned tomato jam post where I list this recipe as another option for awesome tomato jam. If you prefer not to be included, please let me know! Here’s the link if you want to check it out. http://www.gettystewart.com/tomato-jam/

  78. so, question: why did you decide to use lime juice instead of lemon juice here? You are including it for its pectin/gelling properties, right? I recall that citrus zest also has pectin in it, so I added some of the zest to the jam as well. And is fresh juice interchangeable with bottled juice?

    I made this jam again today. It’s my favorite tomato condiment – I’m ditching homemade ketchup!!

    • My only reasoning is that I like the flavor of the limes with the tomatoes. And in this recipe, bottled and fresh juices are interchangeable because there’s twice the necessary volume required for safe tomato canning.

  79. hi. I’m loving this recipe ant want to try it but don’t have limes. Do you think nelly and joes key bottled lime juice is a good substitute or should I use lemons?

  80. Hi! I have been making your jam recipe for a few years now, and I am absolutely in love with it. I would like to cut down on the sugar content. What is the minimum amount of sugar I can use for this recipe in order for it to be safely canned? Thanks so much!

  81. Our local farm has Roma’s this time of year for .25 cents a lb and I always get about 80-90 lbs to can and to make tomato jam. Put up 24 1/2 pints of this last year. I double the recipe and it takes about 3-4 hours to cook down at a slow boil. I also add garlic, and a lot of it, to one batch. That would be 16 Tblspn of lime juice for 10 lbs of tomatoes which is plenty to make it acidic enough.

  82. this jam is wonderful! SO many tomatoes still growing, ripening, and coming in our garden and this is the perfect way to use them in a new way. I added a little cumin and some balsamic vinegar, but other than that – left it as you have it.
    These will be part of the christmas gifts I’m making. (Using your pear vanilla jam in those gift baskets too!).

    Your recipes inspire me! I love all things about cooking and this area of preserving foods is my new frontier for discovering recipes that go beyond the basics that I’ve done for years. Thanks for all your creative foodie love and for sharing it!!

  83. Oh… Just left a comment but forgot a question… (Maybe it’s been answered already, sorry if so!)

    Have you ever cooked this down using your crockpot, instead of the stove?
    I Made a double batch, careful to not let it scorch, and yes… it did take a LONG time! Totally worth it to me, but oh goodness…. a crock pot would make it much simpler, right? Just wondering if that would affect how it thickens, etc…

    Also, I forgot to mention that I just threw my tomatoes into the foo processor, (skins on, just cut in halves or quarters), then pureed then dumped into the pot… no dicing. Quicker, less mess, (at least for me!)
    ^__^

    thanks for your thoughts on the crockpot idea…
    robin sturm

    • I’ve never tried making it in the slow cooker, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. You should try it and let us know how it turns out!

  84. Hey there,
    I tried this jam and think the spices really give it a nice flavor. However I have some family members with diabetes and worry about adding this much sugar, and it just tastes a bit too sweet for me. Can I leave out half or more of the sugar and still be safe?

  85. I made this about 5 days ago. Life happened and I had to abandon the water bath. Things have finally quieted down. Is it still good, can I freeze it? Should I reheat and waterbath? Looking for suggestions. Thanks

  86. Thanks for responding Marissa! It should be safe to eat? Anyone else care to comment? Hoping for more confirmation that it will be safe.

    • Ann, it’s a little disheartening that you come to my site, ask for advice, and then not trust the information I offer. The jam is a high acid product, the worst thing that can happen to it is that it can get moldy or start to ferment if improperly canned. If you bring it up to a hard boil, and then fill and process as directed, it should be fine. And if it isn’t, you’ll be able to tell because it will either being to mold or ferment somewhere along the line.

      • I feel like a jerk. I’m so sorry. As I stated, I did not know you answered my question. Old eyeballs, small phone….. didn’t realize it was you. Thanks again.

  87. Marisa. I just wanted to apologize. I didn’t realize you yourself answered my question. I have full faith in your knowledge and experience. No need to post this, I just wanted to apologize!

    Thanks, Ann

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