Sungold Tomato Preserves

As summer draws to a close, my sungold tomato plants are producing fewer and fewer tomatoes. They are so sweet and juicy, and we want to savor the last of our harvest as much as we can. Luckily, we’ll have tons of sungold preserves to take us through the winter!

My favorite way to eat these preserves is on a grilled cheese sandwich. Especially one made with a sharp cheddar and fresh sourdough. In fact, that may be my favorite sandwich of all time.


Sungold Tomato Preserves

Yield: Yields 3 half-pints

Sungold Tomato Preserves


  • 4 pounds sungold tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg


  1. In a food processor or blender, blend the tomatoes until mostly smooth. Mix the tomato puree with the rest of the ingredients in a large stockpot. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about an hour, or until the preserves will mound on the back of a spoon without sliding off immediately. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the preserves.
  2. Savvy Tip: If you don't have an immersion blender, you can process the preserves in batches in a food processor or blender. Alternatively, don't blend the preserves any further, and enjoy the more chunky preserves.
  3. While the preserves cook, prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
  4. When the preserves are almost done, move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel, then pour the water out of the heat-proof bowl and off the lids.
  5. Fill the jars with preserves up to ¼” below the rim. Use a clean towel to wipe any preserves off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.



To read more on this topic:

Extending the Seasons: Canning. Why I can, what you need to start canning, and finding safe recipes for canning.

Brain Food 101: The Science of Canning. How the canning process insures that your preserved food is safe.

Foodbuzz 24×24: Preserving the Seasons. I host a canning party.

More canning recipes on the Food Preservation page.

Check out USA Today’s article about home canning…your’s truly is quoted!


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    • says

      IT IS!
      i ate these preserves on a grilled cheese for about a week straight.
      toasted bagels with mild cheddar.
      fresh bakery bread with extra sharp cheddar.
      rye with swiss.


  1. says

    I wish I lived closer so you could teach me how to can!

    Just FYI – in the recipe you have both 3/4 c brown sugar and 2 c brown sugar. Wasn’t sure if that was correct?

  2. says

    this is my FAVORITE thing you’ve ever made. EVER.

    i went through my little jar SO QUICKLY. it was ridiculous. I could eat this every day. YUMMMMMMMM.

    now i need to grow some sungolds!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Probably, but…
      1. It won’t be as sweet of a spread as with Sungold.
      2. Sungold tomatoes are cherry tomato sized. If you use bigger tomatoes, you’ll want to remove the skins and the seeds first. Otherwise, the water activity of the preserves will be too high, allowing bacteria and mold to grow!

      Other than that, it should work just fine! Let me know if you try it.

  3. says

    Even though this recipe seems DELICIOUS and simple enough, I would probably ruin it completely! It looks so delicious and filling! I LOVE your blog!

    • Jessica says

      I tried it last night and was unsucessful… will try again this week. We have such an abundance of sungolds I would really love to get this right!

  4. says

    so you had mentioned these at some point last week in a post & I scoured both your site & the internet for a recipe.. couldn’t find one..

    But YAY! you posted it!! I’m hoping that there is still some yellow tomatoes on the vine this weekend when we pick up our CSA share!!

    • Julie says

      I would guess that it would work with other cherry-size tomatoes. I’m not sure about larger tomatoes though, because they have so many more seeds/juice…it would change the recipe a bit!

  5. Melinda says

    Tried making this last night and it is very runny, I cooked it for hour and half and it would not thicken. Suggestions? It was very humid yesterday, maybe that was the issue?

    • Julie says

      Hmm. That’s pretty close to how you want it, actually. Stir it really well, blend it some more, and try reducing it for a bit more. Sometimes it takes me an hour to reduce, sometimes two– on average, about an hour and a half, but some batches just take more time. Hope this helps!

      • Jessica says

        I actually had it cooking for hours last night. and I mean 3-4 hours… it just wouldnt thicken. You said that it should stay on a spoon without spilling off, correct? the consistency of ketchup seems like it wouldnt be thick enough… I dont know, I guess I’ll try again.

        • says

          Hmm. I will clarify the directions now, but it will slide off eventually. Just not immediately – it should be the consistency of jam. Good luck!

  6. Hope Tritthart says

    Would love to try this recipe! How much sugar 3/4 C of brown or 2 C of white? Thanks.

  7. Gabriella says

    Hi there,
    I did this recipe and I was wondering if you should add pectin because my preserves turned watery, I’m sure they will taste fine but is it okay to add pectin or something next time? Just wonderinf what you would recommend to thicken them up! I cooked it for about 2 hours too.