Pennsylvania Tomato Jam

With all of their savory applications, it can be easy to forget that tomatoes are actually a fruit. But it’s their exact fruity qualities (freshness, juiciness, acidity and sweetness) that makes them such a natural match for rich cheese, salt and herbs ⁠— think pizza, salad with fresh ricotta and queso with tomato salsa. One of the best ways to coax sweetness out of ripe Pennsylvania tomatoes is by turning them into jam, like this one, flecked with ginger and lemon zest, and enhanced with sugar and a touch of salt and red pepper flakes.

While, of course, this is amazing in a grilled cheese sandwich, this refrigerator jam is equally happy on a burger, spread on crackers with goat cheese, or as a condiment for scrambled eggs or a frittata. Cook up a quick batch (it just takes about an hour, largely unattended) to enjoy the sweet fruits of summer!

Pennsylvania Tomato Jam

Makes 2 cups
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
5 min 60 min 65 min


  • 2 to 3 pounds ripe PA tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Roughly chop tomatoes and add to wide, high-sided skillet over medium heat.
  2. Stir in lemon zest and juice, sugar, ginger, salt and red pepper and bring to gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until tomatoes are broken down and caramelized, about 1 hour. Taste and adjust saltiness or spiciness to preference. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Tomato jam can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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