Sweet Tomato Jam is a thick, sticky jam prepared with summer fresh tomatoes, onions, and seasonings. Move over ketchup; there’s a new condiment in town! Looking for a flavour explosion? Try this on cheeseburgers and hotdogs!
Tomato and jam – not two words you hear together normally. But, this Sweet Tomato Jam is so far removed from being normal! It’s a new condiment that can replace ketchup wherever you normally use ketchup. It’s thick, sweet, tart, smoky, and even a little spicy.
This recipe makes a small batch of Sweet Tomato Jam. You can easily double the recipe if you want more. And, because I’ve been asked many times already, I have not tried canning this recipe. I think it’s best to stick to small batches for two reasons. First, it’s easy to make, even though it does take some patience. And, secondly, you’ll want this jam to be as fresh as possible.
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Tomatoes – You can use any small tomato in this recipe, like grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Onion – White or yellow cooking onion will do the job.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic. To evenly disperse the garlic, and to avoid finding larger pieces in your finished jam, use a box grater to grate the garlic finely.
- Brown Sugar – This will add to the deep colour of the jam, while adding a caramelized flavour
- White Sugar – This will add sweetness, just like the brown sugar, but the both of them together create not only the right amount of sweetness, but also the right flavour.
- Lemon Juice – This is a preservative, but it also brings out the flavour in the tomaotes and helps to cut some of the sweetness.
- Paprika – There are three types of paprika – sweet, smoked, and hot. For this recipe, use sweet or smoked.
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – This is optional, but if you don’t mind a little bit of heat, you can always add more if you want. I like a bit, but not extreme.
- Salt & Ground Black Pepper
HOW TO MAKE SWEET TOMATO JAM
Add all of the ingredients into a sauce pan at the same time and stir well to combine. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Gently boil 10 minutes. Do not leave the pot unattended! Stir frequently. Reduce the heat to simmer. Allow the jam to simmer until it has thickened and looks like jam – stirring often!
Continue to cook the jam on a low heat until the desired thickness is achieved. Keep in mind that the thicker the jam becomes, the easier it will be to burn it, so keep stirring often! Once done, transfer the jam to a clean mason jar. Place a lid on the jar and set aside to cool for two hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.
WASHING THE TOMATOES
It’s very important to wash the tomatoes well before getting started. Can I share a secret with you? I wash all of my produce in lukewarm water and whatever dish detergent I have on hand. I’m serious!
You can spend nearly $8 for a small bottle of produce “soap” at the grocery store, and if you took the time to compare the list of ingredients to a dish detergent, there’s very little difference.
Add the tomatoes to a large bowl with a drop or two of dish detergent. Fill the bowl with cool water. Gently swish the tomatoes around, creating a lather. Massage the tomatoes in your hands under running water until all of the soap is completely removed. Transfer to a clean bowl until ready to use.
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT
As I previously mentioned, Sweet Tomato Jam takes time. When simmering the mixture, think about how the tomato jam will look when it has cooled. If, in your mind, it does not look like it will have the consistency of a fruit jam, let the mixture continue to simmer.
It’s important to simmer the mixture. Don’t ever let the mixture come to a boil, because it will burn. The addition of the sugar to the jam will easily burn and you don’t want burned black bits floating around in your jam! Continue to stir often. Babysit it. Love it.
Depending on how much moisture is in your tomatoes, time time it takes to get to jam stage can vary. I’ve prepared this jam a few times. And, even though I always use the same type of tomato, the time it takes to finish the jam is always different. Give yourself anywhere from two to three hours.
Once your jam is thick, it’s time to transfer it to a jar. Please, please, please be careful! This jam is like lava. It will seriously burn you if it gets onto your skin.
Use a clean mason jar with a new seal. Wash the mason jar, seal, and ring with hot, soapy water. Rinse the jar under hot running water to get rid of the soap residue. Using a canning funnel, ladle the jam into the jar. Place the lid on the jar and set it aside for two hours.
This will allow the jam to cool down before transferring it to the fridge. In some cases, you will hear a popping sound. This is normal and may or may not occur. Once the jam cools, and the air contracts, there will be a pulling force on the sealing disc. The popping sound is the jar sealing. This is a good thing. Keep the jam refrigerated. It will last for two months in the fridge.
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Sweet Tomato Jam
- 1.5 pounds cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan and stir to combine.
- Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Gently boil 10 minutes. Do not leave the pot unattended! Stir frequently.
- Reduce the heat to simmer.
- Allow the jam to simmer until it has thickened and looks like jam – stirring often!
- Once done, transfer the jam to a clean mason jar. Place a lid on the jar and set aside to cool for two hours.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.
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