roasted tomato jam

Just imagine. A delicious homemade jam, made in your oven without any spills or mess on your stovetop. From that abundant supply of end-of-summer tomatoes. Count me in. 

roasted tomato jam

This is the most amazing recipe that I stumbled across on Food52. It was created and posted by Amanda Hesser, co-founder of the site. Well …thank you, Amanda! This is pure genius.

All ingredients are layered in a braising pan or large baking dish. A process that happens so quickly you’ll wonder if you’re doing it right. Really. I’m not exaggerating. The only actual prep work is coring and slicing the tomatoes. And zesting the lemon.

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Start off with a solid layer of sugar. Create a layer of tomatoes by overlapping the slices in the pan.  

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Sprinkle some more sugar over the tomatoes. Add an even sprinkling of the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, fennel, and chiles. 

All of that is topped off with a final layer of sliced tomato and the remaining sugar. That’s it. Sort of like working on a craft project, right?

roasted tomato jamroasted tomato jam

After a brief wait of about thirty minutes, the uncovered pan is placed in the preheated oven for a total of approximately two hours. After the first hour, check to see how things are going. If the tomatoes appear to be somewhat dry, baste them with the juice that has collected.

roasted tomato jam

The following photos represent the roasting progress at the 1 1/2-hour mark, then at the 2-hour mark.

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Once cool enough to handle, remove the chiles and the cinnamon stick. Store the jam in a glass container in the fridge until ready to use.

roasted tomato jamroasted tomato jamroasted tomato jam

So right about now you’re probably wondering what this roasted tomato jam should be paired with? What you see here is a piece of multi-grain toast that’s been coated with whipped cream cheese then topped off with a generous schmear of the delicious roasted tomato jam. That’s just one of the many yummy combos. Try it with grilled bread and creamy goat cheese. Or whipped ricotta cheese. Perhaps you’d consider topping off some baked brie with this goodness?

Then there’s the whole other category of pairings to consider. The grilled meat and chicken category. How about taking your burger to the next level with some grilled onion and roasted tomato jam?  So many possibilities!

roasted tomato jam

roasted tomato jam

Adapted from Food52

Your oven does the work for you on this one.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Rosemary Stelmach

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored & thinly sliced (about 1/4-inch thick)
  • generous pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed (or 3/4 teaspoon ground fennel)
  • 2 dried red chiles

Instructions

  1. Pour 2/3 cup sugar over the base of a 12-inch braising pan or large baking dish.  Layer half the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, in the pan over the sugar.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and top with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and chiles. Top with the remaining tomatoes, followed by the remaining cup of sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  3. Place the pan, uncovered in the oven, for a total of about 2 hours.  Before long, the tomato juices should simmer actively.  After 1 hour, check to be sure the tomatoes don't appear to be dry on the top layer.  If so, baste with the juices that have formed. 

  4. Continue to check every 20 minutes, spooning the juices over the top tomatoes as needed.  Remove the chiles if they char.

  5. The tomato juices should begin to gel at 2 hours, but it could happen a little sooner or later.  Test the juices by spooning a little onto a plate, letting it cool, and running your finger through it.  If it holds the line, the jam is ready. Remove the jam from the oven and let it cool.  Remove the chiles and place the jam in jars to be stored in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

roasted tomato jam

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  • Hi Rosemary,! I’m about 1:50 in, and my jam isn’t very jammy yet. Looks more like sliced tomatoes sitting in tomato juice. Using a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, cooking at 400, pretty sure I’m following the recipe to the letter. My plan is to give it as much additional time to “ get jammy” as I can. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Jim! You definitely need the full two hours. If at that time it doesn’t begin to look jammy, you can give it a few more minutes. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. It will thicken as it cools for sure. I hope I replied in time to put your mind at ease! Let me know how it turns out for you!

  • Extra time seems to have transformed my liquid into jam. You DID say “ it could happen a little sooner or later”! Thanks for another great recipe, Rosemary

      • Actually, we pulled it out to f the fridge yesterday to have with some grilled beef, and it had calcified ( and remains rock solid). I don’t think I’ll even be able to get it out of the jar, which I’d like to save. I’m guessing too much sugar/ too little tomato/ too long in the oven? But it was literally tomato juice until the last few minutes of cooking…

  • An unexpected development: after apparently successfully cooking up a batch, I stored it in a mason like jar with a hinged lid in my fridge. We grilled some burgers yesterday with the intention of using some of the tomato jam on them. Unfortunately, when I got the jam out of the refrigerator, it was the consistency of volcanic glass. I’m thinking I either reduced it too much, used to much sugar for the amount of tomato, or both. It has been sitting on the counter for about 24 hours with no discernible change in its igneous consistency. I don’t expect to save the jam, but I hope there is some way to remove the jamrock from the jar. It’s a nice jar and I’d like to keep it intact if possible!

    • Hmmm. That is the oddest thing! I’ve stored mine in the fridge on numerous occasions with no adverse effect on the texture. So sorry to learn of this! Are you able to temporarily remove the metal hinge from the jar? If so, a short time in the microwave should soften the jam. Or you could place the jar in a pot filled with very warm water. That may do the trick after some time.