Bacon & Tomato Jam

bacon tomato jam 3

Just when I think I’ve tried everything (not really, but some days are more uninspiring than others) something comes along that is so much better than the sum of its familiar parts. Had I flipped past a recipe for bacon and tomato jam I would have certainly done a double take, but I’m not sure this would have jumped off the page and grabbed me – but when Shauna came to visit in Tofino and brought a copy of their latest book, she looked me straight in the eye as she handed it to me and said, “try the bacon and tomato jam.”

roasted plum tomatoes

It seemed at first as if she was speaking in code, like I was meant to read more into her message. I wasn’t. She just meant to make it clear that I should make the damn jam. And so I did.

bacon tomato jam 4

This is not jam in the typical sense of the word – it’s sweet on account of the roasted tomatoes and bits of apple, but it’s not sugary, like strawberry jam or most almost candied bacon jams. It doesn’t gel, like breakfasty sorts of jams – it’s more a mash-up of delicious things. It’s not as tangy as chutney, but really its own thing – and I’m not exaggerating when I say I ate almost the whole batch straight from the pan with a fork, and barely saved enough to make a couple sandwiches.

bacon tomato jam 6

You start by roasting tomatoes, which is not really a big deal – halve them, spread them out on a sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until they sort of slump in on themselves, and start getting dark and caramelized on their edges. Then you get some bacon going in a pan, and some onion and garlic – and then the tomatoes and apple and balsamic. Somehow it comes together into something that’s completely divine – and almost a sandwich filling of its own accord.

bacon tomato jam 2

I would eat this striaght-up on toast. But why wouldn’t you add a fried egg?

bacon tomato jam 1

I took Shauna’s advice and spread it on bread, and added an egg – this on a crusty baguette, but you could of course use any kind of sandwich bread. Crusty seems like a good idea. Mike commented between bites that it tasted like something you’d get at a restaurant – at Market, or something – and I imagine it would elevate a grilled cheese quite nicely. I’ve had sandwiches on the brain since being asked to be a judge – along with Bob Blumer – of Canada’s Best Sandwich contest, hosted by ACE Bakery to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. There will be winners in each region, and each receive $1000 plus $1000 for their favourite charity. BUT. We then choose 4 finalists who get to fly to Toronto in October – with me! – and we spend a day cooking and then choosing a winner, who will receive $20,000 – $10,000 for our winner plus $10,000 for their favourite charity. How awesome is that? I love the charitable aspect – I would love to present one of my favourite charities with a cheque for ten grand. Wouldn’t that be grand? (And I would love to take my own ten and spend it on a new fridge/stove/dishwasher. Or a trip to Paris. Or take my niece to a soccer game in Spain. Or…)

But seriously. Try the jam.

Bacon & Tomato Jam


September 20, 2013

  • Makes: Makes about 1 1/2 cups - enough for 4-6 sandwiches.


about 10 ripe plum tomatoes

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


3-4 slices bacon, chopped

2 medium shallots or 1 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2-1 small apple, peeled and finely diced

freshly ground black pepper


1Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a rimmed sheet with foil or parchment.

2Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and lay them cut-side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for an hour, until they start to shrivel and darken on the edges.

3In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the bacon in a drizzle of oil until it's nicely browned. Set it aside on a plate, leaving the drippings.

4Cook the shallots or onion and garlic for a few minutes, until it softens. Add the basil and cook for another minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute (it will reduce immediately) and then stir in the apples, browning them a bit. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking everything apart with a spoon (mostly the tomatoes) until it thickens. It won't take long.

5Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bacon. Keep cooking it, if you like, until it's thicker and softer, and try not to eat it all out of the pan as you go.


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19 comments on “Bacon & Tomato Jam

  1. Lori
    September 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Fascinating. What kind of apple did you use? I feel like you’d need granny smith for the pectin, but it would lend a tartness that you may not want.

    • Julie
      September 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

      You don’t need pectin, because it’s not jam in the sugary gelled sense of the word. It doesn’t set like that – it’s more a mash-up of delicious things.

  2. LydiaF
    September 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I’ve tried bacon jam, but I think I’d like this better. Great way to use up the end of season tomatoes 🙂

  3. linda
    September 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    can you freeze this?

  4. the other Al
    September 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    LIVE WITH ME! sorry Mike but I have to take your place as Julie’s gastrofantastic guinea pig!

  5. Nicole Boyhouse
    September 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I want to make this, minus the bacon. Would that be weird?

  6. Sue
    September 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    When you’re in Toronto in october are you at an event that we could come see you?

  7. vanillasugarblog
    September 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Seriously I will!
    I know how good bacon jam is.
    And never thought to use tomato!
    Love this!

  8. kelley
    September 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Your pictures make so hungry! Loving this post–this would be great for a sunday brunch. Cheers!

  9. Sandra
    September 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I made this on the weekend, using an old gala apple that was languishing in the back of the fridge, and almost over-ripe, regular old tomatoes. Yum, yum, yum!

  10. Laurie from Richmond
    September 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Ooooo … Yum!
    I’m going to make this

  11. Folly
    October 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Perfect! I’ve got several jars of oven-roasted dry-farmed Early Girls in olive oil from last season and this will be a great way to devour them and make room for this year’s canning!

  12. Susan Blando
    October 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    You were right – I couldn’t keep my fork out of this jam, it was (was!) heavenly and I will make more. And more. I just finished the last of a pint jar that I made…so satisfying…thank you for the recipe!

  13. Lisamich
    October 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I made this for an appy for Thanksgiving day. Served it on fresh baguette slathered with goat cheese and a dollop of tomato jam. Delish! Thanks Julie!

  14. Kelly in NS
    October 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Oh man, it is too cool that you know the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef! It was so funny that I found out when reading HER blog and HER description of visiting Julie in Tofino I went WAIT A MINUTE! What are the chances that she is talking about MY favourite chef!!! Have a bunch of Romas and bacon in my fridge just waiting for this recipe to happen!!

  15. Fructe uscate
    February 17, 2014 at 9:01 am


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