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
- 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
- Cut Sungold tomatoes in half, or, if using larger yellow tomatoes, chop them into smallish pieces.
- 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.
- When ready to cook, prep canning pot and jars and place jam pot over high heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- 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.