I first tried making this one in early November. I still had a huge pile of chillies left from my over enthusiastic chilli growing in the summer. I’ve been growing chillies for a few years now, and find it impossible to plant just a few seeds. “They’re so little”, “they don’t take up much room”, “what if some don’t survive” are the usual thoughts running around my head during planting time. So I end up with at least 20 plants in our little conservatory. Once they all start coming through and my conservatory starts looking like a mini nursery, I try to palm some off on a few people. I still end up with about 5 or 6 plants that slowly climb their way up my windows until they’re practically touching the ceiling.
So, once the growing season was well and truly over, we spent a weekend in November freezing chillies, making chilli powder and chilli flakes (beware! if you make chilli flakes, don’t oven dry the chillies on the same baking tray that you later use to make anzac biscuits for your kid’s lunchboxes…whoops! and yes, I didn’t discover this until I was nibbling one the next day, and my kids were already at school sitting down to lunch…) and also this chilli jam. The recipe was stolen with pride from bbcgoodfood.com with just a minor modification to the amount of vinegar and an increase to the cooking time.
Sweet Chilli Jam (makes 2 large or 4 small jars):
- 8 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 10 red chillies, roughly chopped
- finger-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 400g tin cherry tomatoes
- 750g golden caster sugar
- 200ml red wine vinegar
- Put your jam jars through the dishwasher to sterilise.
- Chop the peppers, chillies (with seeds), ginger and garlic by hand or in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour into a pan and add the tin of cherry tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, then bring everything to the boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface, then turn the heat down and let it bubble gently for about 90-100 mins, stirring occasionally. Stir more frequently during the last 20 mins or so, just to ensure it doesn’t catch and burn.
- The jam should thicken during this time, but will still be pouring consistency (about the consistency of tinned tomato soup). It can be cooked for longer if it still looks very thin (but it will thicken more once cooled). Once the jam reaches this stage, leave to cool for 20 mins or so and then carefully pour into the sterilized jam jars and leave to cool completely.
This jam will keep for 3 months in a cool, dark cupboard – refrigerate once opened.