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Recipe: Spiced Tomato Jam

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

spiced tomato jam

Photo by Judith Hausman

Spiced tomato jam pairs well with leftover meats.

This year, I intended to thriftily use up and give away my "stash” of jam before next strawberry season or at least before Florida citrus and marmalade season this winter. But I ran across a new formulation of pectin that allows you to pick your sweetness, more or less, using as little as one cup of white sugar for a batch of jam. I was curious. An experimental batch of peach-cantalope marmalade turned out very nicely.

Now that I am pleasantly drowning in tomatoes, I broke my resolution again and tried making spiced tomato jam. Canned ‘maters or more frozen sauce would have been practical and less of a novelty item, but I was intrigued by blending flavors into something halfway between spread-on-your-toast and pile-on-your-burger tomato jam.

The spiced tomato jam isn’t technically chutney because there’s no onion or garlic in it (and just a little hot pepper), but we ate it that way with a puffy egg and corn dish, garnished with vegetables and cheese. I liked the second batch that I made with less sugar (2 cups rather than 3) better, although I’d go for less clove the next time so I wouldn’t associate the flavors so directly with pumpkin pie. Leftover meats would be a natural for the tomato jam, and maybe cream cheese and a toasted bagel, too.

Spiced Tomato Jam

Note: I’m not going to provide full "How to Make Jam” instructions here, but the Ball Company site www.freshpreserving.com is quite clear.


  • 3 1/3 cups cooked-down tomatoes (see note*)
  • ¼ cup lemon or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes or ½ small hot pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons low sugar/flexible sugar pectin (equivalent of one 1.75 –ounce box powdered, low-sugar pectin)
  • 2 cups sugar


While you prep the ingredients, put the jars through the dishwasher and leave them inside and hot until filling them. Yield will vary but I got 2 1/2 pints from one recipe.

*You will also want to prepare the tomatoes. I neither peeled nor cored mine, but you might do so if you are worried about the skin, which can get stringy. I did cut up a lot of tomatoes (no less than 2 to 3 pounds) and cook them for at least an hour (two hours is better) in order to soften them and remove some of their water. Only then did I measure the 3 1/3 cups of tomatoes in the recipe.

Mix the remaining ingredients except the sugar into the prepared and measured tomatoes along with the pectin. Then bring all ingredients to a rolling boil for one minute, while stirring constantly. Add the sugar all at once and again bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat, skim off any foam with a metal spoon, ladle the jam into hot jars and seal. (See the Ball site above for further instructions on sealing and processing.) It will take several hours to gel.

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Looks good
a', Houston, TX
Posted: 7/20/2013 7:41:11 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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