My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Million Dollar Tomato Jam

“If I Had $1000000
We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner.
(But we would eat Kraft Dinner. Of course we would, we’d just eat more.
And buy really expensive ketchup with it.
That’s right, all the fanciest Dijon Ketchup. Mmmmmm.)”

Barenaked Ladies

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam 2012

Well, I don’t know whether I’d like Dijon Ketchup but this recipe for sweet and spicy Tomato Jam brings to mind the feelings of fancy ketchup contemplated in one of my favourite songs by the Barenaked Ladies. It has been a perfect year for tomatoes – hot and sunny — and this year has produced the best crop of home grown tomatoes we have ever had. ¬†Wondering what to do with all those extra tomatoes one Sunday afternoon, I stumbled upon a few recipes for tomato jam. ¬†I’m not a salsa person, but the idea of a sweet and spicy condiment made with tomatoes sounded wonderful. I roughly followed the recipes I found, tweaking the spices for how we would like them — a little less hot pepper flakes, used ground ginger instead of fresh since that is what I had, and added cumin which we love. The result was a sweet tomato condiment with just enough heat to add some zip but not overpower. Enjoy this jam on cheese, bagels with cream cheese or better yet goats cheese. I even put some goats cheese and the Tomato Jam on my turkey burger — better than tomato relish!


  • 5-6 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped (making about 10 cups chopped tomatoes)
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt

This has just a subtle kick of heat, not hot. If you like it hotter, add more spices.


NOTE: I don’t peel but do de-seed my tomatoes before dicing them to make a smoother, richer jam. I also use a hand blender for about 30 seconds to grind up the skins slightly in the first half hour. Some recipes mentioned that you can leave the peels and seeds in which adds more acidity and texture. If you want to peel tomatoes, drop them into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds them remove and dump in cold water. The peels should easily slip off. Remove excess seeds with your fingers and dice.

  • Add all ingredients into a large pot (one that will not react with the tomatoes).
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a hard simmer (bubbles still forming but not spurting)
  • See note re skins, puree a bit if you’d like.
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 hours (depends on your heat level), stirring regularly (about every 1/2 hour at first to every 15 minutes to every 3-5 minutes towards the end.)
  • When almost fully reduced, sterilize cleaned jars in a 250F oven for 20 minutes and boil jar lids.
  • When mixture has reduced to a thick, gooey texture it is finished. Pour into hot, sterilized jam jars, screw the lids on and set aside to cool and seal.

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