Sweet and spicy tomato jam

A delicious and versatile condiment!

A delightful alternative to ketchup, tomato jam can be used in so many ways and it’s a great way to preserve a bumper crop if you’re a gardener. I love it on slices of rustic bread spread with chèvre or cream cheese; it’s also great as part of a cheese or charcuterie board. To make a true tomato jam, you need sufficient sweetness and acidity (beyond the tomatoes’ natural acidity), otherwise it will be more like spiced tomato sauce. I recommend using fresh plum-style tomatoes (San Marzano or Roma are best) but you could also use a can of whole plum tomatoes instead.


  • 2 pounds (1 kg) plum or Roma tomatoes (about 8), cored and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly-squeezed lime juice (or rice / apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) each ground cinnamon, cloves, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes


  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Place pot, uncovered, over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat slightly so the mixture continues to simmer slowly.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. To test for doneness, run a wooden spoon or silicone scraper across the bottom of the pan. If the jam does not immediately fill in the space, it’s done.
  • Transfer the jam to clean canning jar(s). Cool on the counter to room temperature then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.

Makes approximately 2 cups (500 mL).

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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