pan of spicy tomato jamLooking for different ways to preserve tomatoes and healthier alternative to tomato ketchup I decided to devise a tomato jam recipe. More like an extra thick sauce with all the bits and goodness still in there. We like a bit of hot spice in our sauces so this had to be spiced up too.

I’ve looked around for recipes on line but never found any that were quite right. Then I decided that I’ve been making my jams and chutneys for long enough now surely I could make up my own. Or there’d be lots of vegetables going in the bin later?

Last night a kind neighbour gave us a bag of cherry tomatoes as they’ve got lots this year and I had a couple of large extra ripe vine tomatoes we’d grown. It seemed like it was time to make the jam, but the early evenings are a little too warm to be making anything. Standing over a hot stove was not going to happen. The coolest time of day is very early morning.  So this morning before anyone else was up I decided to give it a go. Does anyone else have great ideas early in the morning?

a bowl of tomatoes

fresh and unfiltered

By 8am the finished jams were sitting looking very pretty in jar. I’d finished just in time as the sun started to heat up the kitchen. The taste when hot was sweet and sour with a hit of tomato and chilly. Hopefully they’ll taste just as good later when cooled.

Spicy Tomato Jam Recipe


  • 1kg of ripe tomatoes finely chopped
  • 500g sugar
  • 300ml red grape vinegar
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • a thumb of ginger grated
  • 1 dried red chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


Sterilise small jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse in hot water. Then place in the oven at 100C until ready to fill.

Place sugar and vinegar in the bottom of a large jam pot or saucepan and gently dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Once all the sugar has dissolved add the spices and tomatoes.

pan of spicy tomato jam

make sure you don’t boil the vinegar and sugar before you add the tomatoes

Cook on a high heat stirring continuously until the tomatoes are cooked and it reaches jam consistency. You don’t want this too solid somewhere between a sauce and a jam.

bowling pan of spicy tomato jam

make sure it’s boiling

Using a funnel transfer the jam into your sterilised jars and seal.

In theory this should keep for up to a year unopened or a month in the fridge once opened. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to last that long.

I have far too many ideas for jams and chutneys in my head.

spicy tomato jam recipe

The finished jam

This made 4 and a bit jars, the quantity can vary with jams depending on how long you need to boil it.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a good way to preserve the tomato crop and my way of beating austerity this summer. Now I’m just looking forward to a glut of tomatoes from our garden. Have you got any favourite preserving recipes?

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