917-604-7591 [email protected]


It’s the perfect confluence of words: tomato, chile, and jam. This is a universal food. Almost. I would not be putting this jam on my breakfast toast, actually. It has more sizzle than I want to start my day with. But, on a toasted slice of bread with goat cheese, this jam is an ideal mate for a grand cocktail to end your day.

Or, this can be a condiment for you dinner table. It will pair smartly with a fine steak, or chicken, or even better turkey. For Thanksgiving, you can offer up cranberry sauce, but this tomato concoction would be a surprising alternative or addition to your feast. On dark meat, this will be unsurpassed.

The “chile” here comes from red pepper flakes, so you are in total control of the heat level. As you boil and reduce down, you can sample the mixture and adjust the heat up a tad if you desire.

The recipe says to cook for an “hour or more until the jam thickens up a bit more.” Maybe it was the tomatoes, maybe us, but we need to simmer for a long time, over three hours. That said, we realized that we had gone a bit far and our “jam” was very thick and sticky. After you have cooked for an hour, your tomatoes may not have begun to break apart yet. By the two hour point, you’ll have seen some progress. [The bottom picture here is from our 2 hour point and you can see that our tomatoes had been very resistant to breaking apart.] From there on, it’s a matter of personal preference.

This recipe is from the lovely and most practical book Preserving by the Pint where the emphasis is on small batch preserving. You’ll get four small jars out of this recipe, enough to carry you along for a month or two. Then, you just simmer up another batch, perhaps play with the heat level, but surely enjoy tomatoes with a bite.

Tomato Chile Jam

Yield: 4 small jam jars


  • 3 ⅓ ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed, dried and halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ¼ cups white wine vinegar
  • 3 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping teaspoons red pepper flakes


Tip the cherry tomatoes into a saucepan pan. Add all the other ingredients to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook for an hour or until the mixture takes on a thin, jammy appearance. Reduce the heat and cook until the jam thickens up a bit more, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching to the bottom of the saucepan.

Switch off the heat under the pan when you are happy with its appearance and carry out a jam test. Place a small spoon of the jam on a cold plat in your fridge. After a few minutes, it will set to its final consistency. If your happy with that consistency, great. If you think the jam is too thin, return to the heat for a few minutes.

Transfer to sterilized jars and store in the fridge for up to 2months.


Source: Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan

Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/40th second at ISO‑500