Monday, October 8, 2012

Tomato Jam

I have two words for you.   Tomato.  Jam.

To be clear, it's not the kind of jam you eat on toast; it's the kind you eat on a burger or slather all over meatloaf.

OK.  It's really just glorified ketchup, but oh, what fabulous ketchup.

Sort of a cross between ketchup and barbecue sauce.    Seriously fabulous ketchup and seriously fabulous barbecue sauce.

This is a slow jam.   Sloooww.  Jaaaammm.    Take your time with it.  Don't rush it.   Enjoy the smells and use the opportunity to sit nearby and peruse those cookbooks you haven't looked at yet.   Or clean out the tupperware cupboard.   Or read a book with a cup of tea close by.    Slow food is a good thing. 

I made this with a mess of tomatoes that came out of the garden less than slice worthy.   We cooked them up in the slow cooker and then ran them through the chinois to get the skins out.  

Actually, when you run it through the chinois, you don't get the skins out, you get the sauce out.   The skins stay in until you scrape them out and feed them to the chickens, who like them, but not as much as they like strawberry tops.

Chickens love strawberry tops more than anything on this earth.    Anything.    I asked.   The chickens said, 'Strawberry tops, hands down.'

Now you know.

Anyway.  You don't have to start with fresh tomatoes.   You can just open a big can of tomato sauce.  

Once you have the sauce, this is what you do:

Tomato Jam
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1  cinnamon stick, about 2 inches long
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

First of all, don't stress out about the cinnamon stick.   It doesn't matter how curly it is, or how thick it is or if it's exactly 2 inches.   I'm talking sort of 2 inches.    If that's too stressful, then use 1/8 tsp of cinnamon powder and add more to taste if you want to.

Cook the onion, garlic vinegar and cinnamon stick in the olive oil until the onion begins to caramelize, about 40 minutes.  Or longer.  Don't rush it.  

Add the tomato sauce, sugar and salt.   Cook until thick.   Remember that it will thicken even more after it cools.   I cook mine in a big skillet until I can draw a flat topped spatula across the bottom of the pan and it leaves a trail for a second.   Thick.

Ladle into jars.   Enjoy!

Note:  You don't have to cook yours that thick.  If you leave it thinner, or don't caramelize the onions,  it tastes fine.  But it's better the other way.  Just sayin.

You can find this recipe and a bunch more jam recipes in my ebook.  Check out the preview [link on the sidebar].  A Simple Jar of Jam: 180+ recipes & variations for jam using low sugar pectin.  Every purchase goes a long way toward supporting the blog.   Thank you!


  1. We should make this! We love glorified ketchup and we have lots of tomato sauce. :) Thanks!

  2. Ah, I adore this idea. Meatloaf is my fave food so you better believe I'm going to be making this. I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing them.


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