I mentioned this Sweet 100 Tomato Jam while chatting up the folks at Munak Ranch and two other shoppers asked for details. Their enthusiasm was noted so I fast tracked this post since quality tomatoes are hanging around and sweet 100s can still be found.

Adapted from Nicole Rucker's Dappled and inspired by Mourad Lahlou's New Moroccan, this jam has a permanent parking spot in my freezer. It isn't technically jam given the relatively small amount of sugar. Sweet 100s are delicious raw, but when you roast them with a handful of well-suited inclusions the result is a true difference maker on the plate. Caramelization amplifies the already delicious tomatoes and concentrates the sugars while the honey, citrus, and touch of heat launch the flavor skyward. It's minimal effort relative to the payoff. Pairing ideas below.

    Cookbooks Referenced // Original vs. Adapted

    Dappled is the foundation for this Sweet 100 Tomato Jam. I reduced the sugar amount by about half and then swapped in honey for half of what remained. Cheese and honey are friends forever and this jam is always destined for something with cheese.

    The tomato jam in New Moroccan is a different beast entirely with spices, ginger, and molasses to name a few of the ingredients. I lifted the idea of lemon slices and a chile pepper from Lahlou's version but plan to make the full recipe this season if time permits.

    Mourad also calls for lime juice in his jam so adding some preserved key lime after the tomatoes have finished cooking might be an outstanding tweak to the recipe below.

    Recipe Tips


    Both Dappled and New Moroccan suggest sweet 100 cherry tomatoes for the respective recipes. The variety is apparently a prolific producer so that's certainly appealing from the farmer's perspective. For the consumer, it's a hybrid tomato bred for flavor and sweetness -- "vine candy" as one website calls it.

    A tomato can have solid flavor and sweetness but without acidity to punch things up it can end up tasting somewhat flat. This is part of the reason I add lemon juice and red wine vinegar to Pizza Sauce. It makes the sauce more tomatoey. But sweet 100s have the trifecta -- flavor, sugar, and good acidity.

    As mentioned in New Moroccan, don't feel limited if sweet 100s aren't available. You can use whatever tomatoes taste wonderful and have the above mentioned balance. If the tomatoes are larger, removing the skins and some of the seeds is a little more work but helps the texture. See Recipe Tips for more.

    Hot Girl Jam

    New Moroccan suggests using a red jalapeno but cherry bombs were my favorite hot peppers this season so that's what I used. They kick you in the pants but not so much that you can't enjoy the fruity flavor. For context, it only took a single pepper (1 ounce chopped) to give a pound of tomatoes some subtle heat. If your peppers are really spicy as my cherry bombs were, removing some of the seeds and ribs can help tone things down if preferred.

    Tomato Jam Pairing Ideas

    Some ways that I've used or will use my 2023 batch of Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato Jam:

    • Frittata with charred Jimmy Nardellos or other sweet red peppers tossed in a light dressing (for acid), rosemary, grilled poblano or pasilla, cheddar blend, and dash of a favorite hot sauce if you're so inclined. I have an entire refrigerator cubby devoted to small batch hot sauce so I'm definitely inclined -- it's the acid more than the heat for me.
    • Olive/red onion/red pepper/rosemary focaccia, mashed avocado, tomato jam, a fried egg -- hot sauce works here, too.
    • Grilled cheese
    • Cheese plate
    • Panini
    • Anything else that needs a dollop of tomato excellence. A little goes a long way.

    Farmers | Artisans

    I make an effort to source my food from California artisans with a special focus on the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Below is a list of the folks who contributed to this dish.

    Cherry bomb peppers at Beylik Family Farms // Santa Monica Farmers Market


    The original recipe is twice the quantity (2 pounds of tomatoes) and baked in a 9x13 dish. For 1 pound of tomatoes as with the recipe below, I used my Le Creuset braiser which was bigger than needed but worked. An 9x9 baking dish is also fine. The only thing to note is that the more surface area you have the faster the juices will reduce.

    My Favorite Cooking Tools spotlights the kitchen equipment I’ve owned and used for years from bread baking to coffee brewing.


    This is half of the original "Dappled" recipe. I like how tidy it is to scale with these quantities.

    • 1 pound/457 grams sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, stems removed
    • 1 tablespoon/21 grams honey
    • 1 tablespoon/15 grams organic cane sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons/23 grams sauvignon blanc or white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon/1.5 grams Diamond kosher salt
    • 1 ounce/30 grams spicy pepper such as cherry bomb or Fresno, small dice Note: See Recipe Tips.
    • 3 thin slices of lemon
    • (Optional) Some lemon or lime zest or juice for an additional citrus boost if needed or desired.


    • Move the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350°F.
    • Cut 1/3 of the tomatoes in half and then combine all of the ingredients, tossing to distribute.
    • Cook until the juices have started to dry up and thicken, about 50 minutes. Stir the tomatoes at the 20 and 40-minute marks.
    • If you crave a little more brightness, adding some lemon or lime zest/juice off the heat can do the trick.
    • I like a chunky jam for cheese plates, but for spreads (on a grilled cheese or pizza), I puree the jam for a more uniform texture.


    Dappled notes that this jam is not safe for canning but it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a month. I use less sugar which means a shorter shelf life so my move is to freeze the finished component. The texture never becomes rock hard so it's easy to break off whatever quantity is needed. I'm a zealous freezer of food.


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