Tomato Jam

Recipe for Tomato Jam
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2 pounds ripe, fresh, Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 12 plum tomatoes)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped gingerroot
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: Red pepper flakes for kick (1/4 teaspoon or to taste)


To peel tomatoes:  Bring a pot of water to boil and submerge tomatoes for 2-3 minutes and then dunk them in ice-water to cool them quickly. The skins should peel off easily!

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy stainless-steel pot over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until the jam is thick and clear, about 1 to 1-1⁄2 hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of the cooking time, stir often to prevent scorching. When you scrape a spoon across the bottom of the pot and no liquid fills in the path, the jam is done.

Prepare boiling water canner and heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside.

Remove tomato jam from heat and ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. Clean rims of jars before putting on jar lids. Screw the metal bands on finger tight and place in boiling-water bath canner. Process for 10 minutes.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. Clean rims of jars before putting on jar lids. Screw the metal bands on finger tight and place in boiling-water bath canner. Process for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and take off lid. After 10 minutes, remove jars and place on a rack or kitchen towel on the counter.  Allow jars of jams to cool down without moving. You may hear pinging…the jars have sealed!

After 24 hours remove the screw bands and test seal by pressing gently on the lid. Store for up to a year in a cool, dry place. Alternately, after ladling hot tomato jam into the hot jars, let jars cool before putting on jar lids and the screw bands. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.


Makes about 2 pints.


Reader Comments

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Dear Violet,

Dear Violet,
This is a recipe from 1948 Source: New York Times Magazine.

Small plum tomatoes

For each pound of cored and peeled tomatoes:

¾ pound sugar

3 cloves

1 stick cinnamon

1 ¼-inch slice peeled ginger

¼ lemon, thinly sliced, seeds discarded.

1. Select slightly underripe tomatoes, preferably the small, pear-shaped ones. Core the tomatoes, then skin them by cutting a shallow X in their rounded end and dipping them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel. If the tomatoes are large, slice them in half across the middle and remove their seeds. Weigh the tomatoes, then measure the sugar and spices.

2. Layer the tomatoes and sugar in a deep, heavy saucepan (enameled cast iron works best). Cover and let stand overnight — no need to refrigerate.

3. The next day, tie the spices in cheesecloth. Add the spice bag to the tomatoes along with the sliced lemon. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have become slightly translucent and the syrup is thick and begins to gel. Don’t boil the syrup, or the tomatoes will fall apart. If the tomatoes finish first, remove them from the pan and reduce the syrup over medium-high heat. Remove the spice bag. Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars to accommodate the amount of preserves.

4. Fill the jars ¾ full with tomatoes and lemons (or save the lemons to eat separately), and cover the tomatoes with syrup. Seal, using your preferred canning method: paraffin or processing.

I am looking for a recipe my

I am looking for a recipe my grandfather use to make, Tomato Preserves, not jelly or jam. I don't remember all ingredients but I do know that there wasn't any orange, or lemon slices as the recipes above call for. His called for cloves, sugar, but can't remember anything more (I was a child when this was made). Can anyone help me find a recipe for Tomato Preserves?

My mom still makes this .She

My mom still makes this .She calls it tomato preserves. Wash tomatoes dunk in boiling water for a minute or so place them in a colander rinse with cool water peel and core them . Put them in a heavy pot add about 1and 1/2 cups of sugar to about 8 cups of chopped tomatoes . Bring to boil turn down to high simmer after about 10 minutes taste for sweetness add more sugar to taste continue stirring and simmering until desired thickness pour into pint jars leave head space. Place all jars together covered with thick towels over night or 12 hours check for seal if necessary use hot water bath for 12 minutes.hope this helps

The recipe does not give the

The recipe does not give the headspace. This is an important omission.

We recommend ¼ inch headspace

The Editors's picture

We recommend ¼ inch headspace for most jelly and jam recipes (including the recipe above).

I am interesting to make

I am interesting to make jam.and I want to do
jam for please teach to to do country has many fruit.