August 29, 2010

Green Tomato Jam

Tomatoes are a versatile vegetable/fruit: not only are they delicious when ripe––either raw or cooked every which way––at their green, unripe stage they are tasty when fried and they make a tart jam that is one of my favorites. The tangy flavor of green tomato jam is similar to that of orange marmalade; this jam is not for those who love very sweet jam. For instance, I find strawberry jam too sweet, so never make it. There are three ingredients: green tomatoes, lemons and sugar. I put the recipe together from a couple of different ones I found online; some have added ginger or cinnamon, or other spices; I prefer to keep it simple.

Green tomatoes after macerating with sugar for 20 hours.

4 1/2 pounds green tomatoes, cut into large chunks, 1/2 to 1 inch
4 1/2 cups sugar
3 lemons. I prefer to use organic lemons for this recipe if I can find them. I would suggest tasting the lemons to see how sour they are. This year's lemons were so sour that the jam is a little more tart than I like; if I'd realized, I would have used only two.

  1. Layer tomatoes and sugar in a non-reactive bowl. Macerate for 20 to 24 hours in the refrigerator, stirring 2 or 3 times.
  2. Put tomato-sugar mixture into a large pot (I use stainless). Bring to a boil, then cook at a lively simmer for one hour. Skim off any scum that may appear. Stir occasionally.
  3. Cut lemons in quarters lengthwise, then into thin slices. Add to the cooking jam and cook for another hour, stirring often.
  4. Put the finished jam in 1/2 pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes about 6 half pints.

Green Tomato Jam on a slice of my homemade sourdough Pain de campagne. Mmmm.....


  1. Wow...that is impressive...for a start I love green tomato conserves...sweet and savoury...
    then your own bread - a sourdough french loaf?
    Altoon... you'll have people trying to find you with their orders for both!

  2. Sophie, I've been making this bread since my favorite local bakers retired a few years ago. I took a one day workshop on sourdough bread baking, which was a big help. Now I feed my starter every morning and bake once a week. Part of my daily breakfast is a slice of toast with jam: raspberry, blackberry, rhubarb, green tomato, or apple butter.

  3. Love making fresh jam...gonna have to try the green tomatoes into Jam. Thanks as always, Altoon!

  4. Looks delicious! I love green tomato relish but have never tried green tomato jam.