Tomato Jalapeno Jam

Tomato Jalapeno Jam on The Creekside CookThis was inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe in the New York Times back some time ago. We found his version a bit too sweet for us, but liked it enough that I decided to see if I could alter it sufficiently to suit our taste. It’s not like I have a shortage of tomatoes for experimenting.

In order to achieve a truly jam like consistency, you can’t reduce the sugar very much, because sugar is what gives jams and jellies their texture. Without it, this will just end up as a spicy tomato sauce. So instead of reducing the sweetness, I had to counter it a bit with some other flavors. Jalapeños are a natural choice for us, because we have plenty of them this year and we love that spicy-sweet combo. We also have a lot of very hot onions so I decided to use a few of those. And while I used lime juice as the original recipe calls for, I wanted a bit more acidity so I added some cider vinegar as well.

I did reduce the sugar a little, but the reason is that I wanted to add one of my favorite ingredients – Pomegranate Molasses. This stuff is wonderful – sweet and tangy and thick and fruity. You can probably find it in the Middle Eastern foods section of any big grocery store. I ordered it from The American Spice Company. I have been using it in barbecue sauce, quick breads and muffins and I am sure I will find more uses for it as I get into more baking over the winter.

My tweaks resulted in something quite special. It is definitely tomato-ey with some nice tanginess and a spicy jalapeno finish. There is depth and some surprising twists as you get through all the layers of flavor. After tossing down about a half cup each just to get a good taste, we tried it on crackers and on cornbread.

And then, because it reminds me of just a little of a sweet ketchup my Grandmother used to make, last night, we tried it on a burger coated with a spicy rub, served with grilled sweet onions and a local smoked triple milk Amish cheese. Nomity-nom!

Tomato Jalapeno Jam
Serves: 3 quarts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 5 lbs peeled and quartered Roma tomatoes
  • 2 medium onions cut in very thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 6 jalapeños, 4 seeded, 2 with seeds, minced
  • 4 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 lime, juice and shredded peel
  • 1½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • additional juice of 1 lime
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 5 quart heavy pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thick which can take 3 to 4 hours, depending how juicy your tomatoes are. if you are hanging right close by to keep a very close eye on it, you can raise the heat a bit, but be careful because once it starts to get thick it scorch rather quickly.
  3. Keep stirring at regular intervals to prevent sticking and burning.
  4. After two hours, I tasted and adjusted the flavors by adding a couple more jalapeños, a little more vinegar and salt – those amounts are reflected in the recipe. You need to adjust to suit your taste, keeping in mind that the flavors will intensify as the jam reduces.
  5. Taste again at the very end, and add salt and the additional lime juice to taste.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, in the freezer for much longer.
  7. It can be canned - the same directions you would use for canning salsa will work for this as well - probably best to can in pints or half pints so it gets used up before it goes bad in the fridge after opening.

 All in all, a most worthy venture, and one that absolutely bears repeating in years to come.Tomato Jalapeno Jam on The Creekside Cook

4 thoughts on “Tomato Jalapeno Jam

  1. Pingback: Tomato Jalapeño Jam | dlyn

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