Recipe Finder: Incomparable tomato preserves

Anne Kilmurray from Pottsville, Pa., was looking for a recipe for tomato jelly or tomato preserves. She used to have an old recipe of her mother's but she has misplaced it and the farmers' market in her area used to sell a good one but no longer does. She said all she can remember about her mother's recipe is that it contained lemon peel.

Kay Shultz from Ellicott City shared her mother's recipe for making homemade tomato preserves. She said that her mother would core the tomatoes and include the seeds but that she removes most of the seeds when she makes it now. She added lemon peel to her version and she said she always loves to eat the peel after opening the jar.


No store-bought tomato preserves can compare with one made from tomatoes from your garden or local farmers' market. If you take the time now to make the preserves while the tomatoes are plentiful and at their best, you'll have a tasty treat come winter. Spread on toast, it's like summer in a jar.



Alisia Verdoorn from Cupertino, Calif., is looking for a coffee cake recipe her grandmother gave her but she has lost. As she recalls, some of the key ingredients were raisin bran that was both in the cake and part of the topping mixed with butter, pecans and brown sugar, buttermilk and orange juice.

Tomato Preserves

Makes 5 to 6 1/2 pint jars

3 to 4 cups prepared tomatoes (from approximately 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of ripe tomatoes)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Strips of lemon rind from one lemon (optional)

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


4 1/2 cups sugar

1 box powdered pectin

5 to 6 sterile 1/2 pint jelly or mason jars

To prepare tomatoes: Wash firm ripe tomatoes. Scald, peel, and chop tomatoes. Place chopped tomatoes in saucepan and heat slowly to simmering, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Measure 3 to 4 cups of the cooked tomatoes into a large saucepan. Add lemon rind and cinnamon.

To make jam: Sterilize canning jars. Add lemon juice to the prepared tomatoes in the saucepan. Measure sugar and set aside. Stir powdered pectin into prepared tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. At once, stir in sugar. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes at normal altitude. Set aside to cool and seal. Sealed jars may be kept on the pantry shelf; store unsealed jars in freezer.


If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.