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Sweet & Spicy Tomato Jam

Tis the season for tomatoes…

I ended up with more tomatoes than we could eat or give away.  I didn’t want these beauties to go to waste and thats when I remembered Grandma’s Tomato Jam Recipe.  It’s so good that I wanted to share it with you.

Grandma’s Recipe was simple: Tomatoes, Sugar and Lemon or lime juice.  Her recipe is wonderful but I am a big fan of heat & sweet. I wanted to put my TaylorMade spin on a classic of hers.

One other thing I would like to note.. Grandma boiled the skin off of the tomatoes. I do not.  Reason? It saves a heck of a lot of time and the tomatoes cook down so much that it doesn’t matter. The texture is great. We also can salsa and tomato sauce without peeling the skins.  

I have made this tomato jam with all sorts of heirloom tomatoes.  This particular batch was made with yellow tomatoes that turn the jam an orange color.  If you use red tomatoes, it will be a dark red with a hint of brown colored jam.  Cooking the jam intensifies the color as well as the flavor.

This sweet and savory tomato jam which can be offered as a dip, condiment or spread. Tomato jam/jellies/preserves are delicious, sweet and versatile. Perfect for Summer’s abundance of tomatoes from the garden and local Farmers Markets. 

tomato jam

  This tomato jam recipe can be used as a spread on crusty bread or sandwiches, as a nice topping on grilled dishes and is divine paired with cream cheese and spread on crackers.

This sweet, salty, spicy tomato jam would be excellent on bread or crackers with some goat cheese or brie – serve it with grilled sausage, spiced lamb kabobs or steak, use it in place of ketchup on a burger, or try it as a glaze for roasted chicken or pork – Just a few ideas that I think you will love.

spicy tomato jam DISCLAIMER: One may become addicted to this jam.

Sweet & Spicy Tomato Jam

Yield: Makes between 3 and 5 pints, depending on what kind of tomatoes you use and how long you reduce it


  • 5 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons freshly grated lemon or lime zest (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4-5 thai chilis, dried (see substitutes below)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stirring every 5-10 minutes, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky jam like consistency. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
  2. When the jam has cooked down, pour into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp paper towel, apply the lids and twist on the rings. At this point you can either let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks OR
  3. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes., remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When the jars are cool enough to handle, test the seals. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.


Don't have thai chili - substitute serrano chili, chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne, jalapeño, etc.



Don’t like spicy – leave out the thai chili

Don’t have thai chili – substitute serrano chili, chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne, jalapeño, etc.

You could also add ginger or ground cloves if you like those spices.. I kind of have an aversion to clove after I decided to freshly grind cloves for a recipe years ago. I couldn’t get the smell out of my house for weeks.  just thinking about it makes me gag a little.  LOVE Cinnamon, nutmeg but not clove.

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