*Varying the tomatoes: Large slicing and heirloom tomatoes are not as desirable for this recipe, as they have a higher moisture content. I’ve mixed in some cherry and grape tomatoes with good results—they do tend to have more natural sweetness (as well as a higher skin-to-pulp ratio), so you may wish to add an extra teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice at the end to balance the flavors. There is no need to peel the tomatoes, but if you would like a smoother jam, you may do so—in this case avoid using small cherry and grape tomatoes. Alternatively, you could purée the jam once done.
**Varying the amount of sugar: I have run side-by-side taste tests with this jam made with a variety of sugar levels and a range of ½ to ⅔ cup has been most popular. My family prefers the lesser amount, but when using tomatoes that aren’t at their peak, I add an extra packed tablespoon of brown sugar. I recommend choosing the higher or lower amount based on sweetness preference, realizing that the difference is more apparent when tasted off a spoon but less so when enjoyed, for example, on a burger. I have reduced the sugar to ⅓ cup but did not think the flavor with this amount was well balanced.
You may double the batch. Note that the jam will likely take longer to reduce.
Spice option #2: For a slightly different, warmer flavor profile, use ¼ teaspoon ground cumin (instead of ½ teaspoon) and omit the smoked paprika. Keep the garlic powder and cayenne pepper at ¼ teaspoon and add ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch (1/16 teaspoon) ground cloves.