Spicy Tomato Jam with Ginger

Posted on 21 September 2010

Yay tomatoes!

After what was possibly the worst summer on record, tomatoes are finally here! In all their glory!

Sure, I made that tomato salad a few months ago, but those were transported all the way from the East Coast. We finally have our very own (California) tomatoes! Heirlooms, shady ladies, and many others for only $2 a pound. Hooray!

I love tomatoes. I love their jewel-toned colors. I love their funky shapes. I love their almost endless variety. But, most of all, I love their luscious juicy sweetness. I love that they range from melt-in-your-mouth tender to being almost meaty, but still with a fundamentally tomato-y taste.

Spicy tomato jam with ginger

One day last summer, Matt scored an amazing deal on tomatoes: less than $1 per pound for 180 pounds. I came home to six crates stacked neatly outside the front door.

He spent six sweltering sweaty sticky days chopping and cooking and canning nine gallons of marinara sauce. I offered to peel tomatoes, but was run out of the kitchen. Soon, I feared to enter, lest I become infected with the tomato madness. There were tomato guts and knife accidents galore. At least one chunk of finger was lost.

One year later, one gallon remains. In related news, I hate marinara sauce.

Spicy tomato jam with ginger

I decided early not to repeat last year’s debacle. This year, we needed something different and a bit more manageable. My first thought was to can tomatoes, but the thought of adding lemon juice was too much. Bleck.

Then I stumbled across this recipe for tomato jam on Food in Jars. Tomatoes? Sugar? Jam? Perfect!

Even better is that the tomatoes don’t need to be peeled! I’m a lazy canner (ok, generally lazy) so throwing everything into a pot and allowing it to simmer down to a jammy consistency rocked.

We enjoyed with meatloaf (a.k.a. a loaf of meat) today — it formed a spicy, sweet, and slightly charred glaze on top. It will also be a fine pairing with cheese (or, in my case, cheese coins) and may make a delicious substitute for ketchup.

Spicy tomato jam with ginger

Spicy Tomato Jam with Ginger

Yield: 8 8-ounce jars


5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes


Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

From Food in Jars

P.S. This is the first entry in my six-member six-month preserve-of-the-month club. I’ll need encouragement, especially during those long dark days of winter, so please cheer me on.

P.P.S. I christened the new range with its first boil-over. Woo-hoo!

6 responses to Spicy Tomato Jam with Ginger

  • ChezAmy says:

    yay new range! yay tomatos! i see some heirloom ones in the photos! 🙂 sounds delish.

  • Rebecca says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never had tomato jam before and I bet it is amazing with the ginger flavor.

  • I made tomato jam last week and it would never have occurred to me to put ginger in it.

  • allfourburners says:

    Wendi, the ginger, along with the other spices, provides a zingy contrast to the sweetness of the jam. I highly recommend!

  • Betty says:

    great pics! Those tomatoes look luscious! I am sad that our tomato season is pretty much over. I don’t know how September flew by so fast but I am glad i at least made ketchup from the fresh tomatoes. I’ll have to try your tomato jam.

  • […] Spicy Tomato Jam with Ginger is perfect for canning those oodles of tomatoes you get at the end of the […]

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