Roasted Tomato Jam

By • August 28, 2013 • 79 Comments



Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by the following conversation on Hotline about whether or not you can make jam by roasting it in the oven: http://food52.com/hotline/21260-has-anyone-ever-made-preserves-a-dutch-oven-in-the-oven No stirring? No mess on your stove? No worrying about burning the preserves if you walk away from the stove for a few minutes? I had to try it!

Roasting jam delivered on its promises -- I layered sliced tomatoes with sugar and spices in a round braising pan, and let the oven do the rest of the work. I checked on the jam a few times but with the even heat of the oven, there was never any worry that the jam would stick to the pan base. And the edges of the tomatoes on top caramelized a bit. What more could I ask for? Next up: peaches!
Amanda Hesser

Makes about 3 cups

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced (1/4 inch)
  • Large pinch salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 dried red chiles
  1. Pour 1/3 of the sugar over the base of a 12-inch braising pan or other baking dish. Layer half the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and top with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and chiles. Top with the remaining tomatoes, followed by the rest of the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the pan, uncovered in the oven and let cook for 1 hour. The tomato juices should simmer actively. Check every 20 minutes, spooning the juices over the top tomatoes, and removing the chiles if they char.
  3. Continue roasting and checking every 20 minutes -- the tomato juices should begin to gel at 2 hours, but it could happen a little sooner or later. Test the juices by spooning a little onto a plate, letting it cool, and running your finger though it. If it holds the line, the jam is ready. Remove the jam from the oven and let cool. I eat this jam fresh so I put it into jars and keep it in the fridge.
Jump to Comments (79)

Comments (79) Questions (2)

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2 months ago Donna Poor

And poof! It thickened and it is beautiful! I used the chili flakes (1 tsp), the taste and color is amazing!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

2 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad it worked out!

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2 months ago Donna Poor

I'm on the third hour and still no gel...were my tomatoes too juicy? It tastes awesome, but it's very runny...

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3 months ago Joseph Fourtunia

I'm confused, he recipe says to cook for 1 hour then says it should jell around two hours and then remove from oven. Am I supposed to continue baking until jelled or turn off oven after an hour and let sit in the oven until it jells?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

3 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Joseph, thanks so much for pointing this out -- yes, you do want to keep roasting it for another hour (though it could gel sooner). I've just adjusted the recipe -- see step 3. Thanks again!

Stringio

3 months ago David Yarbrough

these sound amazing! I have ben experimenting with lots of different veggies for healthy snack ideas and love tomatoes in the dehydrator( try taco seasoning or basil) anyways... has anybody tried canning this recipe? please let me know as I am always coming across bargain tomatoes.

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10 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am obsessed with this too! It is SO, SO good. Just made another batch!

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10 months ago piccantedolce

So, I'm obsessed with this jam from the ease in making it to how delicious it is. I was wondering if anyone has tried it with green tomatoes? I've got 7lbs from my garden that I need to process and I'm wondering if it will work. Any thoughts?

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11 months ago EmilyC

I made this and shared a small jar with my neighbors. A thin layer of this on good bread makes for a killer grilled cheese sandwich with aged cheddar and a little baby arugula or spinach. Love the fennel and chile in it.

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11 months ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Any chance of a sugar substitute for a diabetic?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't know the answer but hopefully someone will weigh in!

Jo2

4 months ago Jo Switten

Why don't opt for Stevia? Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

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11 months ago Violeta

I've just made it. Brilliant taste! I used crushed dried chilli, about a teaspoon. Thank you so much Amanda for sharing this recipe with us.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thank you!

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11 months ago jeff

I have made this twice and in process of the third time with all sorts of tomatoes from the garden.....plus alot more chilli as well as once 3 cloves of very thinly sliced garlic.....anyway you make it..ITS AMAZING!!! THANK YOU!! Huge fan of this site for years and just now joined so i could comment about this recipe....although ive made tons of others from here. THANKS AGAIN:::ITS BRILLIANT!!!
JR

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Jeff, thanks so much for your thoughts -- I love hearing about improvements and variations on recipes. And thanks for making your first comment!

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11 months ago Violeta

This sounds sooo good. I'll definitely give it a go! I make plum jam in oven and it always works. :)

Moi_1

12 months ago QueenSashy

I finally got to making this jam! I served it for dinner with grilled pork chops, everyone was in heaven. I also filled small cute jars for the friends to take home.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Two for one! :)

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12 months ago Antonia AT

I substituted 2 Tb + 1 tsp Aleppo pepper as I had no chiles on hand and no inclination to shop again. Delish!

Grumpycat

12 months ago Leo S

This looks amazing, I'll have to go to the grocery store tomorrow and buy the ingredients.

Stringio

12 months ago Terry Temple

Is there a way to preserve this recipe for later gift giving ? If I make the jam this weekend. Can I give them as gifts in December ?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hi Terry, if you scroll down to the very end of the comments, there's a good discussion about this -- and how to do it properly so it will keep for gift giving.

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12 months ago Sarah | strawberryplum

I used this method to make a roasted Italian plum jam to serve with Dijon-rubbed pork tenderloin. It was delicious and the leftover plum jam was perfect with a cheese plate the next night! http://www.strawberryplum...

Stringio

12 months ago Cydney Pair

I am making this but subbing basil for the fennel seeds, cinnamon and chilis because this time of year I have a lot of fresh basil on hand from my garden. I also have a lot of tomatoes, so I used about 4.5 lbs, increasing the recipe accordingly. It is taking a little longer, but smells wonderful! I love this technique as I am tired of having to blanche and peel tomatoes at this point, so I appreciate the "rustic" approach.

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12 months ago Zoom

I halved the recipe because I didn't know if I'd use it all. I think I overcooked it a little. I definitely needed to cut back on the cooking time. The taste is great, but mine is almost like tomato caramel at this point.

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12 months ago Bevi

I made this today and it tasted very good. The tomato skins developed a candied texture that I think actually adds texture to the finished jam. Processed in 1/4 pint jars, it makes a great neighborly present, as my neighbor is about to find out!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

What a nice neighbor you are!

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12 months ago student epicure

wow, just made this -- unbelievably delicious! really, one of the best things i've made off of food52 this summer.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for making my day!

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12 months ago Magit Van Schaick

I'd probably freeze whatever I would't use up from the fridge within a couple weeks.

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12 months ago sticksnscones

I loved this recipe...just delicious on a melty cheese sandwich! Mine had lots of strips of the tomato skins that didn't break down. I'm wondering if I should have peeled the tomatoes first?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

The tomato slices and skins should have stayed mostly intact, so it sounds like yours turned out right. If you don't like the tomato skins, you can either peel the tomatoes before cooking or simply cut the tomatoes into chunks so the skins are minimized.

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

this is really, really good!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thank you!

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12 months ago Lucy Mercer

Think this would work with the case of late season peaches that I bought this weekend? I would leave out the chile and fennel.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes -- you might need to make minor timing/sugar adjustments but it should work.

Girl_in_hat_crop_by_lucy_mercer

12 months ago Lucy Mercer

Tried it with the peaches! I should have held back on the sugar a bit, and next time I'll slice the peaches very thinly, or perhaps dice them. But, still, fantastic technique! Trying the tomato version tomorrow!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for the feedback!

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12 months ago Judith O'Brien Diani

Do you eat tomato jam just like other fruit jams? I made some with our organic tomatoes. The gel turned out good. Not sure if I like the skins, and the ceramic dish had a burnt sugar ring from the simmering. Do you line your pan with foil for easy clean-up? Any other ways to serve this jam? Thanks.

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi! I'm going to use my batch in a more savory way than I would a traditional fruit jam: perhaps spread atop goat cheese and grilled bread, on a grilled cheese, etc...I used an enameled cast iron pan and didn't have the burned sugar problem (and it was easy to clean), so perhaps next time you could try a different pan? I'm sorry about yours! I might lessen the sugar by about 1/3 of a cup next time...

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12 months ago Judith O'Brien Diani

I made peach chutney from 'Food in Jars' and ate with goat cheese and baguette. It is a similar sweet/savory combination. I guess I love fresh tomatoes so much that the extra sugar isn't needed. I will try less sugar next time, and probably use only the pulp. It does seem like a great way to use the garden's bounty. Thanks.

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12 months ago AAFoodie

Can't wait to try it on biscuits, maybe with a little ham or cheese, or a cheesy biscuit.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

What em-i-lis and AAFoodie said!

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about 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

LOVE tomato jam. And this looks fantastic. Super cool way to make it by roasting in the oven too. Picking up tomatoes this weekend to give this a test drive. Thanks for posting this!!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks -- and hope you like it!

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about 1 year ago Jillian Bernardini

I just finished making this, and I'm in heaven. Swapped in chili flake for the chiles, and used a variety of heirlooms: yellow, orange, green, and red. Can't wait to share a pretty photo in the AM! Thanks Amanda!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I might use chili flakes next time, as well. How much did you use?

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12 months ago Jillian Bernardini

About 2 teaspoons, brought the perfect little kick of heat and warmth at the end.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thank you!

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

Love everything about this jam. I can't think of anything better than this for a late summer hostess gift! Can't wait to try it.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Dawn Riffenburg Needham

This feels like a lot of sugar ... is it really sweet? Do you think I could cut it back?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

It's 30% less sugar than classic jam recipes, so it's not super sweet, but you can definitely try making it with less sugar.

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about 1 year ago susan g

I made it today with 1 1/3 c sugar, and it still set up nicely and tastes sweet to me. I wonder if it won't keep as long, though. The color is extraordinary!

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about 1 year ago fernetaboutit

I want to make this! It sounds delicious!! I have never made jam before, however, and I have a question about the procedure. Do you turn off the oven after the one hour cook time and let it hang out there until set? Or do you continue to cook it until it sets?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great question -- just keep cooking it until it sets. Mine took about 2 hours but it's a good idea to check on it after an hour.

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about 1 year ago fernetaboutit

Thank you! Trying it tomorrow.

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about 1 year ago PistachioDoughnut

I am in love with this jam..I think I am making a batch and store it with the help of waterbath process. I just love the idea of fennel seeds. I made one recently with strawberry and fennel seeds.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Strawberry and fennel sounds wonderful.

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about 1 year ago savorthis

I make a more savory roasted tomato jam all the time but this sweet, tangy, spicy version sounds great and can swing both ways!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I like savory tomato jam as well -- perhaps you'll share your recipe? :)

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love tomato jam, love the roasted tomatoes and especially the addition of fennel seed, it's a wonderful idea.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thank you Suzanne.

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about 1 year ago Kukla

How Wonderful Amanda!!! I love everything about this recipe, but most of all, its simplicity with an amazing result. Good luck and thanks for the recipe! Later in the fall I’ll use your method for cooking my favorite Plum Jam.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks, Kukla!

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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

wow, so creative!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks drbabs!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Amanda, do you think I could, after it finishes up in the oven, spoon this into jars and waterbath process it?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, I believe so because it's fully cooked.

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about 1 year ago Rhonda35

I don't think you even have to waterbath it. I'd can this like any other jam: clean jars filled with boiling water to keep sterile, lids kept sterile in a pan of simmering water. Make your jam, while it's still piping hot, put it in the jars one at a time - dump out the hot water, add the hot jam, wipe off the rim if necessary, using tongs place the canning lid on top, add the ring, tighten and turn the jar upside down on a kitchen towel. Fill the next jar, etc. Once all jars are fully cooled, turn them right side up and tap the lids. You will be able to tell if they are sealed by the sound. I rarely have one that doesn't seal and I have canned jam this way for over two decades. Amanda, I've made apple butter in a Dutch oven this way and LOVE the idea of roasted tomato jam.

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about 1 year ago capers

Ohh, want the apple butter recipe...

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12 months ago SeaJambon

Canning this particular recipe is kind of a tricky thing. Here's the deal -- fruit jams can be safely water bath canned because they are high acid. That's also why pickles can be water bath canned -- the item being pickled may not be high acid, but a tested recipe will have enough vinegar that you've reached/exceeded your high acid safety level of 4.6 or less (yes, less -- it is the pH scale, and higher acid has a lower number). Tomatoes are funny as historically they have been lower than 4.6, but not by much. And, the newer breeds are bred to be sweeter and less acid - great for fresh uses but a bit challenging for canning. These days, most reputable sources are recommending adding a bit of acid (like vinegar) when canning tomatoes "just in case". So, with a tomato jam like this (where there is no vinegar and you don't know the pH of your tomatoes) you may actually want to do pressure canning. Rhonda35, you may be interested to know that the "upside down sealing method" is STRONG discouraged (in my Master Food Preserver course it wasn't discouraged, it was forbidden -- as was wax tops. FWIW: I had happily and successfully used both methods for years before getting certified; now I don't).

Canning and food preservation is fun and easy, but the high acid rule is one that shouldn't be disregarded.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for this SeaJambon!

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

these are excellent points, seajambon. and i'm glad you bring up the wax top issue because yes, it is definitely considered unsafe these days!
i ended up coming down on the "it's safe" side re: waterbath canning amanda's jam, and here's why: eugenia bone (author of: well-preserved) adds only 6 tsp salt and 1.5 tsp fruit fresh (citric acid) to 7 pounds of tomatoes that she has you stew for 5 mins, and then waterbath process for 40.
since amanda's cooks so long, has a good amount of sugar, AND the juice of an entire lemon + the zest, i think the acid level is safe being that i believe it's comparable to bone's. i put amanda's in half-pint jars and processed for 12 minutes after removing the jam from the oven and bringing it to a boil on the stovetop.
what do you think?

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

oh, and bone cans her tomatoes in pint jars, somewhat hence the longer processing time. and versus her 7 pounds, Amanda uses just 3.

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12 months ago SeaJambon

So funny - I was looking for vinegar for the acid and read right past the "juice of one lemon" (! don't sign me up for a proofreading job!). Emily, I agree that with that much lemon juice (basically, one T or more per lb of tomatoes) you should be safe with a standard 10 minute water bath (12 is even better!). I just found among my tested recipes (Univ of Georgia - So Easy to Preserve) one for "Spiced Tomato Jam" that has 1/4 c lemon for 3 cups (2.25 lbs) tomatoes that has 10 minutes in a water bath. Since "juice of one lemon" is usually pretty close to 1/4 c, just a touch more lemon would make the ratio the same and make me even more comfortable!

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12 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

i now feel even better about the jam sitting in my pantry! thanks SJ! :)

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I want to make and eat this RIGHT now!