Tomato Preserves

Looking for something new? These preserves will add an great twist to any meal. Try them along side cheese, olives and pate or try it on roasted chicken..


  • 6 cups (1500 ml) yellow, green or red tomatoes, small, about 2 lb (900 g)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) mixed pickling spice
  • 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) gingerroot piece
  • 4 cup (1000 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced lemon, about 2 medium
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) water


  • Wash and peel tomatoes. Measure 6 cups (1500 ml).
  • Tie pickling spice and ginger in a large square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon and water in a large stainless steel saucepan; simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes; cook gently until tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let stand 12 to 18 hours in a cool place.

Preserving Day

  • Place 6 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Remove spice bag. Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup. Boil syrup 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam, if necessary.
  • Ladle hot preserve into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more preserve. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining preserve.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.