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Making Yellow Tomato Preserves

October 11th, 2010

This year I started 2 small yellow cherry tomato plants just to make a recipe from Preserving the Taste. I checked it out of the library a few years ago and bought a copy when I found an old version because I loved the recipes so much.

It’s a small cookbook packed with delicious recipes like: caramelized apple marmalade with thyme, rose geranium jelly, pear ginger jam, cranberry ketchup, and more. I made the apple marmalade last year and it quickly became a favorite of all who tried it. My favorite thing about this cookbook, is that she uses herbs and spices in almost every recipe.

This little cookbook really takes canning recipes to the next level and makes them healthier as herbs and spices are packed with vitamins and minerals. I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate herbs into my food and this is a great way.

Yellow Tomato Preserves
(makes 4 half-pint jars)
from Preserving the Taste

4 cups sugar
5 cups very small yellow pear shaped tomatoes
3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a 4-6 quart heavy nonreactive pan, stir together the sugar and 3/4 cup of water. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Wash down any sugar crystals that accumulate on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.

Insert candy thermometer and continue boiling until until the syrup has reached 234 degrees F, the soft-ball stage.

Immediately stir in tomatoes. The mixture might seize up, but after a few minutes will again become liquid. Stir in the chilies, basil and lemon juice and turn heat to very low. Continue simmering for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture will have thickened and darkened in color.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, wipe rims clean with a damp towel, and seal with new lids and metal rings. Process in hot-water bath canner for 10 minutes. Preserves will continue to thicken as they cool.


I’ve been waiting for enough little yellow tomatoes to ripen so I could make this recipe. I didn’t get enough (must plant a few more next year) so I had to settle with a half batch. Since I only ended up with a few handfuls of tomatoes, I only got two small jars of preserves. It was well worth the effort to fire up the canner though, I’ll be happy to have a jar for the winter.

These preserves have a wonderful sweet tomato taste with a hint of spice from the jalapeño and the basil really adds a wonderful touch. The little tomatoes become almost candied in the sugar syrup and the peels seem to melt into the preserves (so don’t be worried about leaving them in). I enjoyed some on toast and now am trying to figure out where I can tuck in a few more yellow cherry tomato plants next year!

Have you discovered any new canning recipes this year? Do you like herbs and spices in your preserves?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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