If you love the flavor of ripe heirloom tomatoes, this easy tomato jam recipe will help you enjoy that flavor year-round. A brilliantly simple way to preserve tomatoes, it makes a vibrant and colorful topping for meat and fish and a unique filling for any kind of burger or pressed sandwich.
Best of all, you can prepare this jam with your favorite variety of heirloom tomato, (make a green tomato jam or yellow tomato jam if you like) or use a mixture of all of your favorites for a full-flavored taste experience.
Why you should preserve your tomatoes
Members of the nightshade family, tomatoes were once considered poisonous. But once the myth was dispelled, lovers the world over developed a lust for this plump fruit.
Unfortunately, tomatoes are among the fruits that must be enjoyed in season. Heirloom tomatoes ship poorly. Those fruits found in winter and spring have been bred not to bruise and usually offer flesh the consistency of cardboard.
That’s why Hollywood caterer Anne Janzen created this simple heirloom tomato jam for us. Its flavors are a balance of sweet and savory with just a hint of spice.
Once you try this tomato jam, you will never want to plan a romantic picnic or date night sandwich without this sexy jam.
What is tomato jam?
You may be a lover of jam on your peanut butter sandwiches. But a jam made with tomatoes is not exactly what you picture atop bread slicked with Jif. And you’re right, we wouldn’t serve it that way either!
Jam is a style of preserving made from fruit that is crushed or chopped then cooked with sugar until the fruit begins to fall apart, or at least lose its shape. (And since tomato is technically a fruit, it’s a great candidate for this style of transformation.)
Sugar is the primary preservative in jam. In other words, it’s the ingredient that makes it possible to keep your jar of summer fruits to enjoy all winter long. (Check out this article from Serious Eats if you’re interested in learning more about the differences between jam, jelly and preserves.)
In this particular version of a tomato jam, heirloom tomatoes are combine with the natural sweetness of peaches, (more sugar), and the heat of aphrodisiac chile to form a full-flavored condiment you can reach for all year.
And that’s really the best part about this heirloom tomato jam recipe. Making a low-stress jam is not only a fun way to preserve the fruits of summer but it allows you a tiny taste of summer sunshine any time you crack open a jar. This low-stress jam recipe truly preserves the flavor of ripe, peak-of-season tomatoes for a summertime treat even on the darkest winter day.
How do you serve a jam of summer tomatoes?
You can use tomato preserves as a topping for meats as you would a salsa or a relish. Or use it as a slightly savory version of your favorite fruit jam.
- You can use this jam as a topping for a quick dinner of grilled white fish or chicken.
- You can also use this heirloom tomato jam to add complex flavor to burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Use it as a vegan topping for veggie sandwiches. In fact, it’s great on any sort of pressed sandwich.
- It would also make a tongue-tingling accompaniment to these Rosemary Cheese Scones.
When your ripe tomatoes are practically falling off the vine, this recipe provides the perfect way to preserve them. We love any recipe that allows us the intense deliciousness of heirloom tomatoes the whole year round.
This easy tomato jam recipe is an aphrodisiac in a jar
Consider adding this tomato condiment to your next date night menu. That’s because tomatoes are historically an aphrodisiac and they may just have the potential to turn a maybe into a sure thing.
Easy Heirloom Tomato Jam
- 6 cups tomatoes peeled mostly seeded, chopped
- 4 nectarines or peaches peeled and diced
- 1 cup lightly caramelized onion 2 medium yellow onions, oil
- bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- minced hot pepper or chili flakes to taste
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar or 2 cups sugar plus 1 cup brown rice syrup
- Slowly sautee 2 diced yellow onions in 2 tablespoons of oil, until translucent and sweet, yet not dark brown.
- Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive pan, and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove bay leaf at this stage, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a vigorous boil, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars and use a standard 10 minute water bath canning method.
- Place jars on a rack to cool, and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Store sealed jars in a cool, dark space for up to a year. If any jars did not seal, refrigerate and use within 3 months.
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