Sometimes having too many tomatoes is a good thing!
I have all the cheesy lines memorized for healthy living:
“Nothing’s better for you than homemade!“
“With homemade, you know what’s in it!“
“Healthy eating starts with fresh ingredients.“
The lines could go on and on for healthy eating.
You know what makes healthy eating difficult for me? Spending time making it.
I’ve got three precious little ones to take care of, a husband, two dogs and aging parents. It’s seemingly impossible to set three-to-four hours aside to make homemade-anything, let alone tomato jam.
But I did it. And I made it twice. It was that good and totally worth it to use up the tomatoes growing in our backyard.
Our first harvest of tomatoes
We were still thankfully harvesting tomatoes in July, and had a bowl full of them that weighed in at just over 5-lbs.
The recipe I whipped up this tomato jam from is here.
How do I describe tomato jam? Well, it’s pretty much like ketchup, but 1000 times better.
This jam has a small kick to it so my children didn’t care for it much, but I couldn’t stop eating it because it’s just all the flavor’s I love – spicy from the chili flakes, sweet with honey, tangy with the ginger, and above all, it’s made out of tomatoes! I love tomatoes.
These are of course, all my original photos and recipe card made for your use, based off of the link above.
The first thing you do is finely chop up the five pounds of tomatoes. As I cut them by hand, this process alone took at least 30-minutes and with kids asking me for things throughout the entire process, I think it took me about an hour to cut them all up.
I cut the tomatoes in half and then in small slivers. Most of the photos are from the first batch. (The second batch was more chopped up in chunks, and that came out just as awesome.)
Next you place the chopped up tomatoes in a pan. I used a stock pot because I was too lazy to clean my large wide pan. (I’m not kidding.)
Add all the other ingredients – 2-1/2 cups honey, 1/2 cup bottled lime juice, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, 1 tablespoon red chili flakes, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
Mix everything up and begin the cooking.
After the mixture comes to a roiling boil, set it on medium low and simmer. STIR IT about every 15 to 30 minutes. I set a timer for 15-minutes every time I went to stir it. All that work and I certainly wasn’t going to let it burn.
Mine took close to 2 and a half hours to finally look like the photo below.
The first batch I placed in 16 oz Ball Mason Jars to eventually give away to friends and family to test out. I did not seal the jam and made that clear when I gave the samples out that it had to be refrigerated and eaten right away.
I canned the second batch and ended up with five –8 oz. Ball canning jars and one full pint to eat.I am in no way, shape or form familiar with canning food. I used the internet to help me, specifically this site: Canning Tomatoes on Instructables.
Five are now sitting in the pantry waiting for Christmas to be given away and the sixth one was consumed over the course of a month. Happy to say it was good to the last spread of it!
Total time involved – After chopping all the tomatoes I would say it took me a good four hours to get this recipe down. There’s almost no way to mess it up though, unless you burn it.
I used this spread for a substitute for ketchup in many recipes, specifically for a couple crock pot ones. I also spread it on crackers for snacks with cream cheese, and took it to a potluck where it got a great response.
I was surprised that some people were reluctant to try it! I just told them that it was like a tangy version of ketchup, and a few co-workers told me that hadn’t tasted anything like it. That’s the kind of stuff I like to make – surprisingly good.
Let me know if you try it and as always, thanks for reading!
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