preserving: yellow tomato jam… because I can!

[7 Sep 2011 | By | 15 Comments]

yellow tomato jam

Ha all puns aside. Though Seattle’s summer has felt a bit wintry, my Sungolds have remained a cheerful beam in my garden. Hoards of tiny orange globes dangle in my tomato jungle, and I just picked a ‘bushel-full’. I am admittedly giddy (since they cost $4 a pint at neighborhood farmer markets); these homegrown little gems—all jammed up—will be a welcome addition to my pantry shelves.

Because I am in the midst of home renovations, building our urban farm (right now: our entire plot is dirt), writing book proposals and  upgrading my blog—I have had even less time to read some of my favorite food blogs. But I seem to find time to steal peeks at Food In Jars, to see what is new and inspired for my next batch of preserves. It is where I found the recipe for a recent favorite: peach plum compote. And when Marisa’s post on Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam popped into my inbox I let out a guffaw: how does she read my mind? Certainly I am not the only one with a bumper crop of Sungolds. However: how many have ‘tomato jam recipe’ scribbled across the top of their list of things to find/do?

And so I did: find it and do it. And boy was it worth it.

Now I am letting the next batch of Sungolds ripen, so I can add to my growing pile of tomato-jam-jars. I adopted the recipe just a smidgen, opting to leave out the basil and zest. Why? I wanted to taste the tomatoes straight up and figure I can add basil/zest into the next batch, if necessary (having made the jam, I won’t likely add in the basil/zest next time. I loved it ‘straight up’ like a good martini). Plus: I might not always want the basil slant when adding to a dish (and if I do? Just add in fresh basil at the time). Tomato jam is great for: burgers, sandwiches, with cheese and crackers for a fancy appetizer and/or as a dip for roasted or fried potatoes. Yep: ketchup replacement therapy!

sungold jam

Yellow Tomato Jam
makes 3.5 pints or 7 half pints

4 pounds Sungold or other yellow tomatoes
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cut Sungold tomatoes in half (if using other, large yellow tomatoes: rough chop). Combine tomatoes and sugar in non-reactive pot and stir. Let sit for at least one hour, or until the tomatoes release their juice. Prepare canning pot and jars and place on high heat; add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil 35-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and syrup is thick.

Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from pot and let them cool on a kitchen towel. If jars don’t seal properly, tuck into fridge for use. The rest can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

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  • Velva said (7 September 2011 at 11:56 am):

    Beautiful. The tomato jam looks delightful. Here in Florida our summer has been far from “wintry” I would give a lot for some cool air. Not too mention a 2nd shot at a tomato growing season.

    Great post.


  • Chiara said (8 September 2011 at 12:39 am):

    I love tomato jam… especially ona piece of baguette with some goat cheese. Yum. I got hungry just thinking about it!!!

  • Karen @ SiciLean said (8 September 2011 at 7:42 am):

    You, my friend, are a canning maniac these days! For some unknown reason, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the canning process, but the recipes you’ve posted recently certainly are inspiring!

  • janelle (author) said (8 September 2011 at 1:14 pm):

    Velva: I know! So much of the country has been hot, hot, hot.
    Chiara: I am newish to tomato jam so thanks for the tip;)
    Karen: I know, right? What has gotten into me!? 😉 OR: was it always already there? It is easier than you think. I should write a post re: some quick tips/quick guide… then would you can some?

  • Karen @ SiciLean said (8 September 2011 at 4:46 pm):

    A “how to” post would be great. I’d love to learn!

  • Seb@Portable Chicken Coop said (9 September 2011 at 8:30 am):

    Lovely photos Janelle. I didn’t bother with tomatoes this year because of the weather in June and July. Good sail crop though.

  • Seb@Portable Chicken Coop said (9 September 2011 at 8:31 am):

    Whoops that was supposed to be be BASIL crop. I’m getting old!!!!

  • Donna said (9 September 2011 at 10:19 pm):

    Hey, wonderful puns and clever humor and conversation-tone writing. I smile every other sentence. When I picture you writing, it is always a video clip of you on a little stool in front of the radiator in your apartment in Florence. Dad needs to taste this jam…he’s a pushover for tomatoes.

  • leela said (9 September 2011 at 10:42 pm):

    girl i want to spread this on a little bite of toast right now! midnight snacks are the best :)

  • Krista said (15 September 2011 at 12:07 pm):

    I just love all the things you’re doing in your life!! :-) It makes me happy to picture you digging and gathering and cooking. :-) Just a few more weeks and I will be on my own little farm in Australia, just in time for spring planting. :-) I can’t wait! Your jam is gorgeous and now I know I must plant yellow tomatoes. :-)

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  • Pat said (15 October 2011 at 6:54 pm):

    Hubba-hubba! I have huge Sun Gold tomato plants too. I just love ’em. Pop ’em into my mouth and let them explode in deliciousness! I used to love tomato jam. Haven’t thought to make it, but I should plant an extra Sun Gold next year just for this! Thanks!

  • A Bushel Full Of Tomatoes | Glenns Garden said (26 October 2011 at 5:21 am):

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