Savory Tomato Basil Jam

We are thrilled that Chef Kathy Casey has shared her jam recipe with us!

Savory Tomato Basil Jam
Makes 4 half-pints

3 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (see Chef’s Notes below), about 1 1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 box MCP pectin
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Place tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, shallots, red chili flakes and salt in a 6- to 8-quart, heavy-bottom saucepot. Add the pectin and stir in.

Place over high heat and bring to a FULL ROLLING BOIL (a boil you can’t stir down), stirring constantly to prevent scorching. (If mixture starts to scorch, turn down heat a bit.) Stir in the sugar and, as soon as the full rolling boil takes place again, start timing and cook jam for 6 minutes.

Then remove from heat, stir in basil and fill jars as above. Process jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes (with this method jam will keep for up to 1 year stored at room temperature), or cool and refrigerate jam for up to 3 months.

Chef’s Notes:
Wash tomatoes in cool running water. Remove skins by dipping in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water, then slip off skins and remove cores.

Copyright 2009 by Kathy Casey.

Comments (9)

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    Thanks for the response – I did a little cooking methods experimentation and this is at the top of the charts of things I’ve cooked, ever!

    I made two batches – 2 cups (post-processing) of roasted and pureed (w/ the balsamic) of yellow grape tomatoes, 2 cups of roasted tomatoes, and 2 cups just boiled and peeled tomatoes, all split evenly in two batches. I used a chipolte chili pepper in place of the red pepper flakes, and cooked the jam for a long while on a low simmer – it reduced by 1/3 or so, and got very thick and shiny – before I jarred it.

    Added some lemon juice (1/2 tsp per pint; 1/4 tsp per 4oz jar – I wound up with 3 pints and 12 of the 4oz jelly jars) in addition to the acid in the recipe, but I’m super anxious about canning, especially when I am going to give the goods away.

    Minor changes, food safety maintained, and it is absolutely astounding. Thank you!

    Heather: I think you can experiment with different cooking methods to see what tastes best to you!

    What about oven roasting the tomatoes first, and then proceeding with the recipe – including the boil? Or half roasted, half just chopped?

    I’d like to do this to use up some yellow heirloom grape-sized tomatoes and possibly throw in some basil, but peeling isn’t worth the effort and I like the possibility of adding the caramelized flavor of roasted tomatoes.

    Thanks – even if that’s a no-go, safety-wise, the recipe sounds great!

    Susan: We recommend that folks can the recipes as written. If you want to make changes, you can do so, but be aware that it cannot then be canned for room temperature storage. You will need to store it in the fridge.

    This is the best looking combination of ingredients that I’ve found. Two questions so my efforts Process safely: can the sugar amount be reduced, and can the pectin be eliminated?

    I ordered the pectic and made this last year-it never did set. It tastes fine

    Corey: If you don’t want it sweet, just make it without the sugar–but don’t can it for shelf storage. Store it in the fridge.

    Hi! I love tomato-basil jam! One quick question… do you have a recipe that doesn’t include sugar? I love the savory of it, but I’m not a big fan of the sugar. Thanks!

    I tried this recipe tonight and I really liked it! The flavors tasted a bit like a really good tangy BBQ sauce. I tried it on a cracker with cream cheese and it was great! I will try it next time with feta. Next time, I may add a bit more chili pepper or switch to a black peppercorn. Thanks for the recipe!