Tomato Bourbon Jam

This jam has become a perennial favorite in our house.  It’s an excellent way to use up either perfect tomatoes or those that might not be looking the best, but aren’t yet ready for the compost pile.

I simply couldn’t preserve it all–had to leave some out to be savored immediately

I used this recipe with a few tweaks, of course.  Last year I added pectin, this year I didn’t.  I actually preferred the jam with added pectin better.  I took this to work not long ago to go along with my jalapeño-cheddar biscuits–both of which were quite warmly received.  There’s a small slide show of the process at the bottom of this post.


  • 5 lbs tomatoes, cored & coarsely chopped (leave peels on–they’ll help thicken the jam w/ natural pectin)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp pectin (or 1/2 a box)
  • zest & juice of 2-3 lemons (or limes)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar


  1. Bring all ingredients EXCEPT bourbon & vinegar to a rolling boil.
  2. Reduce to simmer & let thicken for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally at first then more frequently as it thickens.  (Now is a good time to start sterilizing your jars & getting the water bath ready.)
  3. Add the bourbon once the jam has thickened to the point it appears ready. You can use the frozen plate test if you’re unsure.
  4. Cook until thick again, then stir in the vinegar and cook until thick once more.
  5. Fill jars to ¼ inch from rims, wiping edges clean with a damp towel, then top with lids and rings. Tighten only a bit, then process in a hot water bath 20 minutes.

Makes about 12 jars (4 oz).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Susan Toadvine says:

    I cannot wait to make this! I will start it at the first of the week! May I print the recipe?

    1. elderjscott says:

      Hi Susan, absolutely! There’s a print icon in the “Share” section just under the post and above the comments. Let me know how it turns out!

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