fresh tomatoes in a white bowl

Tomato Jam


5 from 1 vote
Tomato Jam is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.


Option for Tomato-Chili Jam:
In Step 4, add 2 Tablespoons finely chopped & tightly packed fresh basil leaves and 1 teaspoon chili powder and 4 dashes of salt. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Option for Spiced Tomato Jam:
In Step 4, any or all of these spices could be added: ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice.
Servings 3 cups


  • 2 cups chopped crushed ripe tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice bottled
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel optional
  • ¼ cup up to ½ cup honey or ½ cup up to 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
  • Wash, core, chop, and crush tomatoes; or wash, peel, core, chop, and crush tomatoes.
  • Measure chopped, crushed tomatoes into sauce pan.
  • Add calcium water, lemon juice, and grated lemon peel (if using) and mix well.
  • Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
  • Bring tomato mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

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25 Responses

  1. Michelle
    | Reply

    I made this recipe and followed all the steps but it did not set up. Any suggestions???

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      We have a wonderful troubleshooting page, HERE, that can help identify where things may have gone off and how to fix up your jam!

  2. Nina Haskett
    | Reply

    What spices could I add to this recipe to give it a smoky flavor? I’m thinking smoked paprika, but not sure how much, or what else I could use.

    Thank you!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You can certainly use up to 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to this recipe.

  3. Janet Forsythe
    | Reply

    I’d love to make a tomato caramelized onion jam. I saw this recipe and the caramelized onion recipe but is there anyway I can combine the two?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      That does sound delicious! We have never given it a try, but here is our best guess, if you wish to make it and try it.

      Caramelized Onion + Tomato Jam:

      2 pounds onions (6 cups sliced)
      2 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon black pepper
      2 cups chopped crushed ripe tomatoes
      1 cup apple cider
      4 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
      1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
      1 1/2 cups maple syrup or 3 cup sugar
      4 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


      Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
      To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
      Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

      Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

      Peel the onions and discard the skins. Slice the onions very thinly, and then cut the thin slices into approximately one-inch lengths. Place sliced onions in a sauce pan – ideally, a heavy-bottomed one that conducts heat evenly. Add the salt, then mix.

      Put the pan on the stove, cover the pan with a lid, and cook the onions over medium to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. While the onions are cooking, occasionally lift the lid and give the onions a quick stir to be sure that they are not starting to burn. If they are, reduce the heat slightly, replace the lid as quickly as possible, and keep cooking. If the onions are really sticking, you may add a very tiny bit of the apple cider to ease the sticking, but only do this if it’s really necessary.

      After 5 minutes or so, the onions should have caramelized a good bit, and should begin to have a nice golden-brown color. If not, cook the onions for a little bit longer, with the lid still on, to achieve this. At this point, when the onions have really started to brown, they’ll probably want to start sticking. So, remove the lid, reduce the heat if necessary, and stir constantly, scraping off and incorporating the brown bits on the bottom of the pot as necessary for a couple more minutes. This will allow the onions to continue to brown and caramelize while preventing burning.

      After the onions are caramelized and well-browned, add the crushed tomatoes, apple cider, the vinegar, and the pepper to the onions. Increase the heat and bring the mixture up to a boil. Cook the mixture at a low boil for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the liquid to reduce slightly in volume.

      In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup/sugar and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

      Bring the onion mixture to full boil over high heat. Add the maple syrup/sugar-pectin mixture, and then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the jam to a boil, and then remove from heat.

      Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with preserves, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

      Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
      Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.

      Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

  4. Sasha
    | Reply

    Can this be processed in 1/2 pint jars? How long is the processing time in 1/2 pints? Thanks!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Generally we recommend ½ pint (8 oz or 1 cup) jars for low-sugar jams and jellies. The ¼ pint (4 oz or ½ cup) are a good size also if you’re making the jam or jelly for gifts.

      You can use 1 pint (2 cup) jars but it’s important to remember that a jar of low-sugar jam or jelly will last only about 3 weeks in the refrigerator once opened. So unless you and your family can eat 2 cups of jam in 3 weeks, it’s better to use the smaller jars.

      The processing time for all three jar sizes of jam or jelly is the same.

  5. Michelle
    | Reply

    Is it safe to use jalapenos in this recipe, if so how much?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Michelle,

      We would recommend using our recipe, HERE for Tomato Jalapeno Jam.

  6. Andrea Wells
    | Reply

    Can Jalapenos be added and can you use dried basil instead of fresh?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Andrea,

      Yes, 1 teaspoon of dried basil can replace the fresh.

      You can use our recipe, HERE for Tomato Jalapeno Jam.

  7. Jammaramma
    | Reply

    We love this. We’re old, and crackers and a soft cheese with a dab of this is dinner at least twice a month.

    I like to substitute half the sugar for brown, add basil and spices, and sometimes dome black pepper.

  8. Carrie
    | Reply

    will this recipe work with green tomatoes?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can!

  9. Cindy
    | Reply

    I’m gonna try this with tomatillos and some jalapeño peppers. I’m guessing I’ll want more sugar, since tomatillos are more acid. Any advice would be welcome.

  10. Ally
    | Reply

    Could I add any spices to this recipe? Like dried oregano, thyme or rosemary?

    Thank you

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can! You could add up to 1 teaspoon of each of those.

      • Ally
        | Reply

        Hi Shelby! Thanks for your response. Just to confirm- I can substitute up to 1tsp TOTAL of either dried oregano, thyme or rosemary (or a combination of) to the basil/chili alteration? Leaving out the chili as well?

        Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this

        • Shelby Collings
          | Reply

          You may use up to 1 teaspoon of each of the spices you listed.

          • Ally

            Oh that’s fantastic! could onion powder or garlic powder on a separate batch with no herbs? To make like a ‘ketchup’ – could the tomatos be blended up as well?

            This is such an exciting

  11. Annee
    | Reply

    I’m not sure if you forgot to include this step or if I misread your recipe. Shouldn’t the skins be removed from the tomatoes before making the jam? I always remove the skins when I can tomatoes. Maybe it doesn’t make any difference?
    Thank you,

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Either one is just fine Annee! Happy jamming 😊

  12. Jan
    | Reply

    Hello Pomonas Pectin:
    I made the Tomato Jam recipe today and it is delicious. I doubled the recipe (all ingredients) and ended up with 4 and 1/2 cups of jam, not 6 cups. Is there possibly a miscalculation with the recipe amount of tomatoes?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      That is possible, it could also be that you used less sugar or that you the tomatoes got boiled down.

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