Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam

By • August 28, 2009 • 46 Comments

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 & MerrillA&M

Makes 1 1/2 pints

  • 3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely shopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup 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.
Jump to Comments (46)

Tags: canning, farmers market, jam, preserves, seasonal

Comments (46) Questions (2)


16 days ago Jennifer Georgia Sparling

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


about 1 month 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 month ago Darilyn Schlie

this is delicious!


2 months ago Matt Thomas

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


7 months 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!


8 months 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.


11 months 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.


12 months 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 2 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!


almost 2 years ago holland.ranch.1

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


almost 2 years ago Nina Page

At the end, I found it so sweet that I added a little more salt and felt it needed a kick. So, I added about a half a teaspoon of red pepper chili flake. Perfect!


almost 2 years ago BAE

I have a total of 2 1/4 lbs of tomatoes (a mix of Sun Gold cherries and Juliets). I have two questions: Do I need to peel the Juliets (they're smaller than plum tomatoes)? And do I simply reduce all of the ingredients proportionally to my reduced tomato weight? Oh, and what about the apple in the originally posted (on her blog) recipe--necessary?


almost 2 years ago strozyk

I last commented on this recipe over 2 years ago - I'm still making it! I thought I'd post my recent tweaks, because it's just such a wonderful preserve. I've dropped the sugar a bit. I've upped the vinegar a bit. If you use balsamic, you definitely need to drop the sugar. I like adding some good bourbon. I tend to use cinnamon and clove for my seasonings, with a pinch of cumin, and always some saffron. You can't pick it out as saffron, but it's lovely. Garlic and shallot for the onion.

This is the one preserve I make that I don't like to give away!


almost 2 years ago Slapdash Gourmet

Thanks for the testimonial strozyk! I want to try this, but I'm wondering about the skins. Is it just a matter of chopping the tomatoes so finely that you don't mind the little pieces of skin that separate from the flesh when heated? I would be using the grape and yellow cherry tomatoes that have taken over my garden, so it will be a lot of chopping regardless. Thanks!


almost 2 years ago msmdln

I used grape and cherry tomatoes as well, but I threw them in whole. The skins are not so thick to begin with and I don't really mind them anyway. Also, I think they softened a bit due to the long cooking time.

This recipe turned out so well, I can't wait to make more of it (so that I have enough to give it away)!


about 2 years ago jamcook

Just bought a zillion tomatoes and am about to make a doubled recipe. I noticed that on Jennifer's blog, the original recipe contains chopped apple. Any reason this was left out on Food 52? It sounds like a great addition. Anyone made it this way? Thanks


about 2 years ago jamcook

Just bought a zillion tomatoes and am about to make a doubled recipe. I noticed that on Jennifer's blog, the original recipe contains chopped apple. Any reason this was left out on Food 52? It sounds like a great addition. Anyone made it this way? Thanks


about 2 years ago IRONWOOD CHEF

I can't believe I just discovered FOOD52 only now although I have collected recipes and participated in food blogs for years!! Fresh home garden tomatoes are soon to come into season here in Western Canada, and I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for ways to use them this year. This looks far more interesting than the Tomato Jam recipe I have used for years, and I can't wait to try it.


about 2 years ago sue_ann_canvasser

I am not familiar with canning and would like to learn. Can you refer me to a good site so I can figure out the 15 minute procedure to make the jam last longer? Thx


about 2 years ago beijinggirl

here's a good, easy to follow one: http://www.wikihow.com...


over 2 years ago Deb Roseman

I was lookin for something to serve on a New Year's eve cheese platter and thisup adding some jalepeno fit the bill perfectly. I didn't have the vinegar so used balsamic and while the color wasn't as pretty, the flavor was delicious. I also ended up adding some jalepeno slices about half way thru cooking because I needed to balance out the extra sweetness from the balsamic and ended up with a sweet and spicy, tangy bit of love that heated up beautifully on top of a brie in the oven. I served the cold version on the same board with cheddar and aged goat gouda on a bed of arugula. Yum!


almost 2 years ago Gabriella Rose

I have started using white balsamic vinegar when color is an issue.