Summer Tomato Jam

My friend Colleen from Souffle Bombay was thinking about just what cookbook it was that made her fall in love with cooking recently, then she decided to ask the same question to a number of her foodie friends, myself included, and #CookbooksAndCalphalon was born! Enjoy 17 food bloggers stories as well as the recipes that go along with them as we celebrate our love of cooking. (We’re also giving away some cookbooks and some Calphalon cookware – don’t miss it!)Tomato-Jam Do you remember the recipe that made you fall in love with cooking? When Colleen asked me that question, it took me about two seconds to answer. This tomato jam, from The Little House Cookbook, is the first truly spectacular thing I ever made.

I still remember the day my mom and I made it. It was the summer before I started fourth grade and it was probably right around this time of year, when our garden was giving us more tomatoes than we could eat. We picked some tomatoes that were still green and fried them, then we preserved some of the ripest ones by making tomato jam. Garden-Tomatoes I gave a jar of it to my teacher for Christmas that winter. When we came back from break, she told the entire class how amazing it was and how she had already finished the whole jar. Being the super shy kid that I was, I was humiliated. When she pointed out that my face was turning the same color as the jam I wanted to crawl under my desk and disappear.

I might have cried.

But secretly, I loved that she loved it. I already loved to cook, but that was the moment when I fell in love with cooking for other people. Making something that would make them smile. Or something that would remind them of summer in the middle of a very, very long winter. Little-House-Tomato-Jam Tomatoes probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think about jam, but they work beautifully. It’s sticky and sweet, with a super concentrated tomato flavor. And no, it doesn’t taste a thing like ketchup. It has all of the bright summer tomato flavor that tomatoes you can buy in the winter lack.

Once you taste it, you’ll find a million ways to use this jam. I love it on crackers (with or without a little goat cheese), spread on a grilled cheese sandwich (try it mozzarella and pesto for a wintertime caprese), on burgers. Mixed with a little cumin, it also makes a fantastic chutney-like accompaniment to chicken breast or fish.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Summer Tomato Jam
Cook time
Total time
If canning makes you nervous, you can also keep this jam in the refrigerator (or freeze it for long term storage).
Serves: 2 pints
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (I like roasted ground ginger)
  • 4 half-pint jars, sterilized
  1. Add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to crush the tomatoes.
  2. Transfer the tomato puree to a medium skillet set over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and ground ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and jammy – this will take about an hour. (To test, dip a cool, metal spoon into the jam. It should slide of the spoon in a thick sheet – not in watery droplets.)
  3. Ladle the jam into the jars and seal. The jam is delicious right away, but tastes even better after a few weeks.

Tomato Jam – Healthy. Delicious.
Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs – Mind Over Batter
Homemade Spinach and Cheese Ravioli – Food Lust People Love
Spaghetti Parmesan – Food Ramblings
Cookie Dough Fudge Brownies – Sugar Dish Me
Plum and Pluot Galette – Fork Vs Spoon
Peanut Butter Squares – Kelly Bakes
Simple Apple Crisp – Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake – The Redhead Baker
Beirut Tahini Swirls – Pastry Chef Online
Oat-chata – Healthy Slow Cooking

This wouldn’t be complete without a fun giveaway for you to enter…you can’t cook without cookware and you can’t use cookware unless you can cook…right? So take a moment to enter our awesome Cookbooks & Calphalon Giveaway – there will be TWO winners!

Also, now through September 1st, Calphalon is celebrating couples! From the first meal they create together in their new home to the meal they share on their 25th anniversary, couple cook up memories! The cookware they choose serves as the foundation for which these “Couples Cooking” memories are made.

Calphalon wants to recognize these #CouplesCooking moments by asking couples to share pictures of the meals they cook together for a chance to win $1,000 in Calphalon cookware! Calphalon is inviting couples to post photos of the meals they prepare with their significant other on Calphalon’s Facebook page. To enter, couples will be asked to share why the dish is unique or special to them and use the hashtag #CouplesCooking. How fun is THAT?? Follow the #Cookbooks&Calphalon fun on social media for great recipes, tips and more and good luck in BOTH giveaways!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a sweet story Lauren! 4th grade!! I have been obsessed with Tomato Jam for years and yours looks deliciously gorgeous!!

  2. I love your story, and I felt your pain. I never wanted to do anything that called attention to myself in school, especially in elementary school. I love that you fell in love with cooking at so young an age. I was a bit of a late bloomer myself. :)

  3. I love tomato jam! Makes me think of summertime :)

  4. I love tomato jam and had it for the first time last fall. I’ll have to figure a way to get some extra tomatoes this weekend to try it out ;)

  5. This looks so good! I want this on some biscuits for breakfast!

  6. Love tomato jam – and I loved all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a child (in fact, I still have my boxed set and am just waiting to pass it down to my daughter.) Great memories and a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love tomato jam! It would be great on toasted baguette!

  8. Lauren, oh, the wanting to crawl under the desk feeling! Ugh! But how sweet that you realized that you wanted to cook for others as a result of your teacher’s tomato jam praise! Love the story and thank you for sharing the recipe!

  9. I’ve never tried tomato jam and I’m really sorry I haven’t! I loved your story! As a child I was very very shy (still am), so I can definitely relate. I would have probably cried and begged my mom to allow me to stay home for like a week. I have to try this jam before tomatoes are no longer in season!

  10. I’m so excited to try this, I’ve never had it, but we love making elaborate cheese plates and this will be a perfect addition.

  11. Can this be processed (water bath or pressure canner)? If so, how long? Looks aaaamazing.

    • Lauren Keating says:

      I honestly don’t know. THe recipe in the book just calls for them to be put into jars and sealed without additional processing.

      My favorite source for canning recipes has a similar recipe for a processed jam though – it looks like she does 20 minutes in boiling water. (here’s her recipe:

  12. Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings says:

    What an awesome story about giving your teacher the jam :)

  13. Gosh, this seems perfect for summer! I love slathering jam on saltines (yea, I might be 89 years old) … and I bet this is just about the best thing to go on crackers…or biscuits, or toast, or by the spoonful! Again, just lovely!

  14. I’ve never had tomato jam before, but this sounds really interesting. I would love to try it!

  15. Natalie J Vandenberghe says:

    The recipe sounds delicious and I’ll pass it on to my husband–who tends our garden. My love of cooking came from watching my Dad in the kitchen (and my enjoyment of delicious food–which I came by naturally–from my Mom). My Dad gave me “The Joy of Cooking” almost 50 years ago, but I use many other cookbooks, too.

  16. The tomato jam sound delicious, I think it would be perfect over meatloaf!

  17. Great story. I’ve never tried tomato jam. Think I need to remedy that.

  18. Oh, Lauren, I am feeling your pain! That is just the sweetest story. But, on the plus side, you knew you had given her summertime happiness in a jar.

    I have a tomato chutney with Indian spices that I make for Christmas gifts, when I can get enough ripe red tomatoes. It goes over a treat! I know we would adore your tomato jam in my house too!

  19. Food blogs are what inspired me to start cooking. I saw how easy it was to make gourmet food right in my own kitchen!

  20. I got a jar of Marisa McClellan’s (Food in Jars) tomato jam at a food swap here in Philly and it was love at first taste. I love making it in summer and then eating it in the fall, just after the leaves have fallen. It reminds me of summer when the temperature drops and I remember that the weather will get warm again. So glad you shared this recipe!

  21. This sounds amazing. I love canning so this is right up my alley. Can’t wait to try it.

  22. Aww I love this tomato jam story! I’m sure it felt crazy humiliating at the time, but it must have also had a big impact if you remember it so well! Summer tomatoes are the best and I love this way of preserving them for future consumption.

  23. My love of cooking, preserving, gardening, and the like came from my beloved Grandma. She passed away in March. We were just talking about her mother’s tomato jam last winter. I’m going to make this for her and our family.

  24. I tried this today … Delicious! Is it possible to double or triple?

  25. With all the tomatoes available this is a recipe I think I will get done ! :)

Leave a Comment


Rate this recipe: