It was only recently that I first read about the wonders of tomato jam. I’ll admit, I was initially quite skeptical, but curiosity soon got the best of me. So last week, after walking home with a bag full of this season’s first ripe tomatoes from the local farmer’s market, I decided to give this recipe for tomato jam a try.

The process for making tomato jam is super simple because the tomato skins and seeds are added to the jam rather than removed. All that is required is a little chopping, grating, and the occasional stirring of the pot. An hour or two later, your house will smell amazing, and your jam will be ready to funnel in jars for processing and gifting to your favorite friends and family members.

Tomato Jam
(Recipe from Food in Jars)

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Makes 4 1/2 to 5 pints.

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

Combine all of the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Let the mixture to simmer for 1-2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally. You’ll know the jam is ready when the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is sticky.

Funnel the tomato jam into sterilized pint or half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Make sure the rims of the jars are clean, and apply sterilized lids and bands. Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Remove, and place the jars on a towel-covered counter until the lids seal and the jars are cool. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

When a few of my family members found out I was making tomato jam, they expressed their sentiments of doubt. To change their minds on the matter, I’ve decided to gift them a few jars from my batch. And because my favorite way to eat tomato jam is as a cracker spread, I’ll be accompanying the gift with crackers, mozzarella and a few leaves of basil from my garden. Yum!

To package my jars, I chose charcoal and ivory colored tags and labels in the style Provencale.

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Lindsay (114 Posts)

Lindsay is a writer/blogger from Oregon who loves crafting, cooking, gardening, and simple living. You can find her writing about all of this and more on her blog A Wooden Nest.


  1. Hi Janelle,

    Two questions:
    1. How did you prepare your tomatoes?
    2. How long did you allow the jam to simmer?

    For me, I used freshly picked tomatoes, roughly chopped – seeds, skins and all, and I cooked them down for a couple hours. To clarify, the jam won’t harden like store bought jams. Instead, it becomes thick and sticky, similar to a fruit butter.

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