The Zamzows Table: Idaho Honey Basil Tomato Jam

The Zamzows Table: Idaho Honey Basil Tomato Jam

We are celebrating all things bees this month, and what better way to honor them than with a delicious homemade jam? We found this recipe on The National Honey Board website and decided to give it a local twist, using some locally sourced Bee-Haus honey and homegrown organic tomatoes, garlic, and basil you may have available in your own garden!

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. organically grown tomatoes from your garden (We chose Roma tomatoes, but feel free to use your favorite variety!)
  • 1/4 cup locally sourced Bee-Haus honey, available at all 13 Zamzows locations
  • 3 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh Idaho grown garlic (one to two cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh organic basil (about three or four leaves)
  • 1 box of pectin - this took a little searching at the grocery store, I eventually found it with the canning supplies. It was called Sure-Jell and there was only one size. 


    1. Dice your tomatoes and garlic.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, honey, vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic, and chili flakes.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine the pectin and sugar.
    4. Add the sugar and pectin mixture to your tomato mixture and stir well to incorporate.
    5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    6. The following day, transfer your tomato mixture to a heavy-bottomed pot (we used a cast-iron pot).
    7. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning.
    8. Increase the heat to reach a full boil, continuing to stir often, until the jam is lightly "set" when spooned onto a plate. This may take approximately *10 minutes, depending on the water content of your tomatoes. Adjust the thickness by adding small amounts of water as needed.
    9. Remove the pot from heat and ladle the jam into preserving jars (using a funnel is recommended). Allow the jars to cool to room temperature and secure the lids. Your jam can be refrigerated safely for up to two months. 

I really enjoyed preparing this recipe. Often, when I am trying something new, I put a lot of pressure on myself. However, I found myself surprisingly relaxed while preparing this jam. Though I never had the chance to make something like this with my grandmothers, it felt like they were there with me, guiding me through the process, from harvesting tomatoes to chopping and mixing ingredients, with their loving and patient supervision. The aromatic combination of garlic, sweet honey, and cider vinegar was surprisingly pleasant and calming.


Tips and observations:

When it came to cooking this recipe, I want to be completely honest. I cooked it for way too long. As a first-time jam maker, I wasn't sure about the indicators of when it was done. I ended up with a tomato honey hard candy! However, before it completely set, I did taste some, and it was delicious. * I noticed a decrease in the rise of the boiling bubbles around the ten-minute mark, and that's when I recommend testing the set. Next time, I will watch for that and begin testing for the desired consistency. If you have any pointers or tips for making jams, please comment below. Your help will be most appreciated.

Download recipe here.