Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam

By • August 28, 2009 55 Comments

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Author Notes: Just enough sweetness to tow the line between a condiment for roasted and grilled meats and a treat to slather on toasted baguette, this is a great way to preserve summer's bounty. - Jennifer PerilloJennifer Perillo

Food52 Review: Merrill and I are huge fans of tomato preserves, but I'd never made one quite like this. Jennifer Perillo's recipe calls for vinegar, cumin, coriander, onion and salt, which I expected to translate into a chutney-like preserve. But there's enough sugar in this jam to keep it balanced -- deliciously -- between a sweet and savory. It made me realize that tomatoes really need an acid like vinegar to underline their sweetness; the vinegar also adds an important feeling of richness to the jam. Jennifer Perillo says you can serve the jam with grilled meats as well as spread it on toast. The only issue with this recipe is that it makes just 3 half pints; I'd like to share it and yet I'd find it difficult to part with any of them. - Amanda & MerrillThe Editors

Makes 1 1/2 pints

  • 3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely shopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1. Put all ingredients in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until thickened to a jam-like consistency, about 3 hours. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or use a hot-water canning bath for 15 minutes for long-term storage.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Condiments|Tomatoes

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Comments (55) Questions (2)


2 days ago Nina Page

I think it did take me a lot longer than the recipe called for. My work around is to put it in the oven at 300 with the lid off and then you don't have stir.


2 days ago Hattie Jo'ell Davis

Mine has been cooking for 4 hours and still isn't very think. I did reduce the sugar by half. If any of you have tips please help!!


15 days ago Lorin

I agree that this is AhMazing with chevre. I'm glad I read through the comments prior to making though because I reduced the sugar to half and it was still rather sweet for me. I also added chili flakes and some balsamic.


21 days ago Sherry

Heaven in a jar! I tripled the recipe and I'm glad I did. I added additional vinegar and spice (cayenne, red pepper flakes, etc.) to make it a little less sweet. That sweet/hot combination is addicting.


26 days ago Ida-Maria Skavhaug

Made this last year and it was amazing!! No more store bought ketchup! Will be making a lot more this season so it will last us until next year :-) Thanks for sharing!


11 months ago Barbara Brenholts Berendt

I've made this about 5 times now, each time using more tomatoes. Right now I am using 25 lbs. I let them simmer down until the consistency is very thick and the color is a deep burgundy. I usually add a little cayenne and I also greatly reduce the sugar like many others who have commented. My whole family loves it, we use it on meatloaf, with eggs and toast, with wine and cheese, as a sub for ketchup. It is so artisanal and makes a great gift!


12 months ago Adelucchi

Thanks for this recipe. I made this yesterday and it turned out great! I altered the recipe when I left out the cumin because I was fresh out. Added some red pepper flakes with a dusting of cayenne at the end to bring the heat up. Took longer to cook but I thought my fire was too low at first. When I cranked it up some it was ready with an added 45 minutes. A lick of the spoon said its wonderful!!


12 months ago MrsK

You might not believe it, but my grandmother Olga (whose parents were descendant from German immigrants) used to make tomatoes in syrup--you know, like peaches, figs, etc? My favorite were the potatoes and sweet potatoes in syrup, yum! (Sweet potatoes in Brazil are completely different from the ones in the US, by the way.) I'll have to try this recipe.


about 1 year ago Jennifer Georgia Sparling

I'm making extra this year because last year I ran out and it was devastating.


about 1 year ago borntobeworn

I made 3 jars tonight and it's the bomb! So glad I will be getting more tomatoes from my friend's farm this weekend.


about 1 year ago Darilyn Schlie

this is delicious!


about 1 year ago Matt Thomas

Great recipe! I didn't think it was too sweet as listed; perfect companion to savory ricotta.


over 1 year ago Danny Mallory

I tried this recipe tonight, and it turned out great! Maybe it was the plum tomatoes that I used, but for some reason I experienced a lot of water still in the pot after 3 hours - so I left it going on the stove and it turned out great after 4 hours total. I was a little skeptical about the amount of sugar as I read through the comments from others, but I tried the recipe as written. I would say that while it is rather sweet, it should still be fine based on what you're eating it with - for example, I had it on a burger and the sweetness worked well and wash''t overpowering. If you plan on eating this jam with something else that already has some sweetness to it, then I would say cutback on the sugar in this recipe. But thats my two cents! All in all, fabulous recipe!


over 1 year ago Diapotpie

This smells delicious cooking but proved to be way, way, way too sweet for us, even though I halved the sugar and added chiles and more spices and vinegar. I was looking for something that straddled sweet and savory, but found this to be most decidedly on the sweet side. Think ketchup.


almost 2 years ago arcane54

So Jenny, I'm hooked on this stuff! This year I made a double batch and I will hoard it (not really!). I use it on cheese plates, in sandwiches (great with a turkey and cream cheese) and most recently spread atop a meatloaf halfway through its cook time. Delicious. I now have your cookbook. You rock. Really.


about 2 years ago Fresh

I made it with less than half the sugar and some red pepper. Just fine as a savory jam; too sweet for me otherwise.


about 2 years ago Marni

This was so good that it got me to try canning for the first time - there's no way I was letting any of it go to waste! Although, at the rate we're eating it, it'll be gone in 2 weeks anyway. So far we've used it as part of a smorrebrod spread and as a "dip" for fried green tomatoes. When my kids get older I'm definitely going to try adding chili flakes or jalapeno.


over 2 years ago cookycat

I made this jam last summer. I'm now on my last jar and can't wait to make more this summer. It is delicious on a bagel with cream cheese or with an omelet or just with some good cheese and crackers. Everyone I have shared it with asks for more. Guess I have to double the recipe this summer.


almost 3 years ago Slapdash Gourmet

I made a batch today and it IS very sweet. Does reducing the sugar interfere with the thickening? I want the thickness but not so much sweetness. Thanks!


12 months ago Fresh

I had no problem with thickening when using less than half the sugar.


almost 3 years ago holland.ranch.1

This recipe rocks! I doubled pretty much everything added balsamic vinegar on top of the cider vinegar. Delish!