Imagine going to a wedding and as a wedding favor, each person gets to take home a little jar of homemade tomato jam with a ribbon tied around it and a label hanging from the ribbon. That’s exactly what happened at my dear friend, Lisa’s wedding. She made this very recipe in bulk and made over 50 little jars of tomato jam. Lisa’s tomato jam is something that people talk about after they’ve had it and ask her for the recipe, so all her friends and family were thrilled to receive a little jar at her wedding.
The jam is simple enough to make, although there are some steps that make it a little more time-consuming. Peeling and seeding the tomatoes is key. (You can read more about how to peel and seed tomatoes in this cooking school article.) Not only does no-one particularly want tomato peel or seeds stuck in their teeth when they are enjoying the jam, by removing both you are left with the tastiest part of the tomato. Because tomato is obviously the key ingredient here, the quality of the tomatoes does matter – try to use only the ripest, tastiest tomatoes you can find. Score the tomatoes, core the tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water and then shock them in an ice bath and the peels will come right off. How much of the inside of the tomato you remove depends on the tomatoes – if there is a white color to the tomato flesh, just cut it out along with the seeds. If the tomato is beautifully ripe and deep red inside, scoop the seeds out with your fingers and use all the remaining tomato in the recipe.
The photo below is what the mixture of ingredients will look like when you put it all into the sauté pan – not as runny as you might expect. This will simmer, the tomatoes will break down a little and the flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onion, sugar and vinegars will blend.
After simmering time, the tomato jam will have thickened and will look like the photo below. It will still be moist, but as you can see, most of the liquid will have reduced and the flavors will have concentrated in the jam.
This recipe is a scaled down version of what Lisa made for her wedding and makes roughly 10 ounces of jam. That’s a perfect amount if you want to have this jam on hand for several weeks to spread on sandwiches, toss in pastas, serve as a condiment for grilled meats or have as an appetizer with crackers. If you want to make more, simply increase the ingredient quantities and preserve the jam in jars sealed with the water bath canning method.
Goat cheese is a perfect tangy complement to this jam. A little jam spread on a crostini with some goat cheese and a little fresh basil is a perfect little hors d’oeuvres for any party. Enjoy the jam and raise a glass to Lisa and Will!
Comments (30)Post a Reply
How much olive oil?
Hi Sue. 1 tablespoon of olive oil in order to sauté the onion. Thanks for calling that out.
Can frozen tomatoes be used? I still have a bunch in my freezer from last year.
Sure, but they may take a little longer to reduce and come to the right consistency.
If I want to make many jars, can this be multiplied many times, or are small batches better?
You can definitely increase this recipe. It might take a little longer for the jam to come to the right consistency with more in the pot, but it’s definitely easier than making it multiple times.
Oh! One half of a century plus nearly two decades ago I thought “JAM” was a concoction to get me to eat bland and banal breakfast foods. NOT SO! These days my favorite is ONION JAM and perhaps soon TOMATO JAM. My how times have changed.
I just made this jam today with tomatoes from our garden and it’s delicious! I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes so I bumped up the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. I also added a dash of red chili flakes. I will toss this with some parmesan and pasta this evening and spread on some crostini with goat cheese tomorrow. Yum!
I have a question.Does this have to be refridgerated?
Hi there. Yes, if you put the jam just in a jar, it should be refrigerated. If you use the water bath canning method to can it, it is shelf stable until you open the jar.
This is soooo tasty! I wasn’t sure at first because of the steps but so well worth it.I did sprinkle a little red pepper flakes at the end. Looking forward to try it on grilled chicken.For now it tastes really good on a fork! I presume this needs to be kept in the fridge?? Miss you on QVC Meredith! I do enjoy your webs site. Keep up the good work.
Just made this..waiting impatiently for it to cool off…dang, I tasted it and LOVE it. I used several ripe home grown tomatoes that were nice and ripe. Loving this recipe. Thanks, Meredith!
My local farm stand had bags of large Jersey tomatoes for $2 so I got 2 bags. Jersey tomatoes are sweet in and of themselves and the little bit of brown sugar was perfect. I made it today and will bring to a pot luck next week. My photo looks like the one in the blog, just shows what a good teacher you are.
My girlfriends and i had a girl’s night in couple Fridays ago and made 4 batches and shared the finished product. Really easy to make and delicious on cheesy scrambled eggs or on a flat bread instead of tomato sauce. I recommend making this with friends and a large bottle of red wine! P.S. there’s no wine in the recipe – it’s for the cooks!
Do a water bath similar to what I do for my sauce?
For preserving the tomato jam, yes you can use the same water bath canning method as you would for canning sauce or jelly.
Hello! For the second year, my two girlfriends and I spent an evening making tomato jam (with a lovely bottle of red wine). This year we added garlic and black pepper. It’s even better than last year’s. We posted pics on facebook and our freinds are requesting the recipe. I’m directing them to bluejeanchef.com as you should get all the credit for this amazing treat. Thanks so much
Thanks Patti, sounds like a fun night!! I have to give credit to my good friend, Lisa for the recipe. This is her jam recipe that she graciously allowed me to print and we all love it. I’m so glad you love it too.
A great tasting recipe! Good on crostini, meat, veggies, etc. It could be addictive!
I challenged myself to make something new for a change, and used the tomatoes I purchased at the farmers market this morning. This recipe did not disappoint! I cooked it a bit longer than the recipe stated as there was still more liquid to evaporate. So much flavor! I used the tomato jam on a grilled chicken sandwich on homemade focaccia.
Just made this tomato jam, it is so yummy! I actually made too much and I am wondering if it can be frozen in small jars. I don’t really want to take the time to can it. If it can’t be frozen, I will gift it to several gal pals. Thanks Meredith.
Hi Rose. Yes you could freeze the jam in air tight containers for up to 6 months.
LOVE this recipe! I have made a few batches already this season, but would like a little info on how to jar it… how long in the water bath would you suggest if I am putting in small jars?
thank you and Lisa for sharing!
Thanks Diane! To can the jam, you can process the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. Be sure to sterilize the jars before filling them. Check out my Strawberry Rhubarb article for more info on the water bath method for canning. https://bluejeanchef.com/recipes/strawberry-rhubarb-jam/
Meredith, can you use canned, whole, peeled tomatoes?
You can use canned tomatoes for this recipes, just dice them and measure out about 4 cups of tomatoes. You can add the juice as well, it will cook down with the jam.
Hey Meredith, do you have a procedure for canning tomatoes? Thank You.
Hi Kate. I don’t have a tomato canning recipe written up yet, but it’s been on my list for a while so hopefully I’ll get to it soon.
Can you use a sugar substitute? If yes can you recommend a good choice for this recipe, please. Thank you for sharing this recipe
The sugar does give the jam some of it’s texture and thickness but you can try it with a sugar substitute. I would try a brown sugar substitute or honey. You could also omit the sugar all together. In either case, you may have to cook it a little longer to achieve a thicker consistency.