My introduction to tomato jam came from the amazing site, Food in Jars. Marisa is an inspiration to this entire community and her recipe is somewhat legendary within canning circles. My interpretation is a bit sweeter than hers (it’s missing some of the savory notes) and the consistency is very different (though it’s still thick like a jam) as the technique varies far from hers. If you’re considering making this recipe, be sure to check hers out to see which is more likely to suit your palette.
I haven’t figured out what we’ll use this for yet. It’s sweet and has a healthy tang courtesy of the Morita Peppers. We discovered Morita Peppers (also known as “poor mans’ chipotle”) back in 2010 and they’ve remained my favorite hot pepper. You can see more details here but the basic flavors of this pepper are hot and smoky. It will mostly likely be part of cheese trays, savory cooking (as part of a glaze or BBQ sauce) or even to add a kick to salad dressing.
My version of tomato jam is no-maintenance. It doesn’t require chopping of the tomatoes and relies only on a moderate amount of squashing (you’ll find my trick on how to do this easily in less than 3 minutes at the end of this article). The roasting method will char some of the surface if you don’t stir often but a moderate amount of charring adds to the flavor. On the negative side, it lacks the beautiful contrast of Marisa’s final product and is energy intensive (though I let it roast while I was canning other things).
As a final note, the spice is barely noticeable. You can easily double the peppers without fear of scorching yourself!
This recipe and cooking time was developed for 1/5 cup (125 ml) jars.
- 5 pounds tomatoes, cleaned and whole
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup bottled lime juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 Morita (or chipotle) peppers (dried)
- Turn your oven on to 450 on bake.
- Place a few layers of tomatoes in a pot. Roughly cut them with a pair of kitchen scissors before pressing them with a potato masher. Add remaining tomatoes, cut and lightly crush again. This step takes a total of 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients, combine and place pot in oven.
- Roast, stirring periodically for 30-60 minutes or until everything is soft.
- Use an immersion (stick) blender (or carefully spoon the mixture into a food processor) to puree smooth. It will still be somewhat chunky (which is fine) but will begin to look like jam (though be runny as it has to reduce further)
- Return to oven and roast until you reach the desired texture (you can use our ketchup tests to see how thick you want it), stirring periodically. If you’re uneasy about using your oven for 2-3 hours you can transfer the pot to the stove top and continue at a low simmer.
- When you’ve reached the thickness you are happy with, prepare the water bath (a large pot which has a rack on the bottom and is deep enough to cover your filled jars by 1-2 inches). Clean and sterilize jars in boiling water and prepare your lids by heating them with boiled water. Fill jars, wipe rims, place seal and band and process in boiling water bath and process for 20 minutes.
Have you made tomato jam before? What do you use it for? If you haven’t what would you use it for?