Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sweet, sticky, fiery: chilli jam

I love my chillies. Love them in every form and every level of heat. Even when I was in grade school, one of my favourite sandwiches to take to school was marmite and chilli. My mum would butter white bread slices, smear on a little marmite and add a few thin slices of green chilli. Wonderful!

A couple of years ago I came across Nigella's chilli jam recipe, but as pretty as it looked, I wanted to add a bit more oomph to my own. So I have made various changes over time and have come up with one that I really like - it is sweet but equally fiery. You can tone down the heat by adding more sweet red pepper and reducing the amount of hot chillies in your jam.

I know real jam needs pectin. The problem is, I don't get pectin in the stores around here. So that is one reason I decided to find a way to make the jam without using boxed pectin. I found out that there are fruits you can use in your jam to let it naturally set - so that is why I add tart green apples. It also adds a bit of sweetness to the jam. If you prefer to not use the apples, you could simple use jam sugar and omit the apples.

The chilli jam makes a wonderful gift and keeps well for a long time. Once opened, you have to store it in the fridge, but unopened, it will sit happily in your pantry for many weeks. 

Chilli Jam
Makes 6 250ml jars of jam

250g of chillies (I use whatever chillies I have on hand - and remove nothing from them except their stems)
a thumb length piece of ginger
4 sweet red peppers (cored and seeded)
2 tomatoes (optional)
1 kilo sugar
2 tart green apples
600 ml cider vinegar

To sterilise the jars, wash them well, then place them (without the lids) in a roasting tray and in a cold oven. Heat the oven and once it reaches 100C, turn it off and let the jars remain inside until you need them.

Place a saucer in the fridge.

Place all ingredients except the vinegar in a food processor and blitz it all together till finely processed. Be careful as you remove the lid of the processor (don't have your face too close) as the chilli fumes can be very strong. Scoop everything out into a large pan, add the vinegar and bring everything to a boil. Boil for about 15-20 minutes.

Take the saucer out of the fridge and drop a spoonful of jam into it. After a minute or so, give it a little nudge with your finger. If it wrinkles, your jam is done. If not,boil a little more and test again.

When your jam is done, turn off heat and ladle the jam into the sterilised jars. Tightly cover the jars and leave to cool.


Monica said...

This is such a great secret flavor blaster to have on hand! It looks so vibrant and I love the extra spice!

Tricia Buice said...

My goodness this looks amazing! My husband would be eating this on absolutely everything in the house. Hunting for gorgeous peppers now :)

Ashley C. said...

Wow, fire up the spices! This jam looks amazing!

Balvinder Ubi said...

I have to agree with the above comments. Chili jam looks amazing and a must to try. I would definitely make this preserve in summer ( when I grow my own peppers).